Flight disruptions continue on Monday. Airlines canceled more than 2,800 flights on Monday. 1,000 of the canceled flights were flying into or out of the US. On top of this, there were almost 11,000 delayed flights.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were rough for US airlines. Airlines scrapped more than 1,200 flights in the US. And also, airlines recorded more than 5,000 delayed flights on Sunday alone. Airlines attributed the recent flight disruptions to the number of crew members calling sick.
United last week proactively canceled flights because of lack of crew members. It said in a memo that “The nationwide spike in Omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation”.
US Airlines Experiencing Flight Disruptions
The mass cancelation of flights happened during the busiest time of the year. According to the US Transport Security Administration, millions passed through checkpoints during the holiday weekend. It peaked at 2.19 million travelers on Thursday, December 23. Also, on Wednesday, TSA recorded more people than on the same day in 2019.
Aside from workers getting sick, there’s also bad weather that caused the flight disruptions. Alaska Airlines canceled 133 flights on Monday. This represents 19% of their scheduled flights on that day. According to Alaska, the cancelations and delays were mainly because of the winter weather in the Pacific Northwest.
According to Alaska, it also canceled almost 250 flights arriving or departing from Seattle on Sunday. By Monday afternoon, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport recorded the most number of delays and canceled flights.
Alaska said that “We’re working as quickly as possible to get all our affected guests rebooked”. It added that “Reservations is experiencing extremely long hold times of up to 11 hours”.
European airlines also experienced disruptions as a record-breaking number of COVID19 cases are recorded in European countries. British Airways said that the carrier canceled “a number of flights due to operational constraints”. British Airways canceled 46 flights on Monday.
Lufthansa, on the other hand, announced that it plans to cancel 10% of its winter flights. Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr attributed the decision to “a sharp drop in bookings”. The German carrier will cancel 33,000 flights from mid-January to February 2022.