Canceled flights and delays disrupt Christmas weekend travel : Coronavirus Updates : NPR

Versie Dortch

A person appears to be at the departures board at Salt Lake City Worldwide Airport on Friday. Countless numbers of flights have been canceled over the Christmas weekend in the U.S. alone, with airlines citing lousy weather conditions and the pandemic.

Rick Bowmer/AP

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Rick Bowmer/AP

A gentleman looks at the departures board at Salt Lake City Global Airport on Friday. 1000’s of flights have been canceled in excess of the Xmas weekend in the U.S. by yourself, with airways citing undesirable climate and the pandemic.

Rick Bowmer/AP

The holiday period travel worry has only escalated amid the rise of the omicron variant. A number of airlines are reporting staff members shortages from the distribute of the coronavirus, leaving travellers with delayed or canceled flights.

According to the flight tracker Flight Conscious, 997 flights in, into or out of the United States ended up canceled on Xmas. Yet another 888 flights have been canceled so significantly on Sunday. They are among the the extra than 5,000 flights canceled globally this weekend.

Hundreds of the delayed and canceled flights are coming from China Eastern and Air China, but U.S.-based airlines these types of as Delta, United and JetBlue are also viewing large cancellation quantities.

“Winter weather conditions in portions of the U.S. and the omicron variant ongoing to effect Delta’s getaway weekend flight plan Saturday, Xmas Day. The airline canceled 344 mainline and relationship flights of the day’s plan that involved close to 3,000 scheduled flights after exhausting all selections and assets to avert those cancelations,” Delta Airways informed NPR in a assertion on Saturday afternoon.

Delta had predicted far more than 200 of its flights will be canceled on Sunday as of early afternoon Jap time, 161 had been canceled, the airline stated. Delta says it canceled 375 flights on Saturday and 212 on on Friday.

American Airways, which canceled at least 88 flights on Saturday, informed NPR in a statement that their functions have been “operating easily” but that COVID-linked sick calls led them to pre-cancel some of their scheduled flights for the working day. Afflicted shoppers were being notified Friday, they claimed.

Though airline vacation was commencing to pick again up just before the omicron variant emerged, the substantial spike in favourable COVID-19 situations in recent months has turn out to be a trigger for issue to airlines in preserving airline team and travellers protected.

Lawmakers, which includes Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), are contacting on the Facilities for Disease Handle and Prevention and the Federal Aviation Administration to make a key modify and call for proof of vaccination or a adverse COVID test in get to travel on all domestic flights.

“Ensuring the overall health and basic safety of air vacationers and their destination communities is significant to mitigating the ongoing COVID-19 surge, specifically as the virus carries on to evolve,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to the CDC and FAA on Monday.

“Necessitating evidence of vaccination or a destructive take a look at for domestic flights would improve public wellbeing and deal with worries that passengers have about flying,” the letter said.

Vaccination protocols for global vacationers coming into the U.S. are now in position, in accordance to the CDC.

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