Christmas flights canceled: United, Delta say omicron spike is causing some holiday flight cancellations

Written by on December 24, 2021

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Extreme thunderstorms set to hit Florida earlier than Christmas

Extreme thunderstorms and tornadoes may immediate journey delays forward of Christmas in Florida.

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Omicron is popping out to be a Grinch this vacation season, with the fast-spreading coronavirus variant inflicting some flights to be canceled this Christmas. 

As of two:30 a.m. ET, Delta Air Strains has canceled 49 flights on Christmas Day whereas United Airways has canceled 46. Extra flights have been canceled on Christmas Eve: 165 from United and 113 from Delta, based on flight tracker FlightAware.

Each United and Delta mentioned a spike in omicron infections amongst crew members performed a component within the cancellations.

“The nationwide spike in Omicron circumstances this week has had a direct impression on our flight crews and the individuals who run our operation. Because of this, we’ve sadly needed to cancel some flights. … We’re sorry for the disruption,” based on a press release from United spokesperson Josh Freed.

Freed added that United is notifying impacted clients and rebooking “as many individuals as potential.” 

A Delta assertion shared with USA TODAY mentioned the flight cancellations have been brought on by a “mixture of points, together with however not restricted to, potential inclement climate in some areas and the impression of the Omicron variant.”

The airline went on to say that it “exhausted all choices and sources” earlier than canceling flights for Friday. 

“We apologize to our clients for the delay of their vacation journey plans. Delta persons are working laborious to get them to the place they have to be as rapidly and as safely as potential on the subsequent obtainable flight,” the assertion reads.

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The cancellations come as some airline business leaders urge the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention to replace its steering on how lengthy totally vaccinated individuals with a breakthrough an infection ought to self isolate.

Present CDC steering says 10 days, however JetBlue, Delta and airline business commerce group Airways for America (A4A) have every despatched letters asking for a lowered isolation interval. Delta and A4A are pushing for 5 days with a damaging take a look at. 

“The Omicron surge could exacerbate personnel shortages and create vital disruptions to our workforce and operations,” A4A CEO Nick Calio wrote in a Thursday letter to the CDC. “A lot has modified for the reason that preliminary steering was developed and issued in 2020 and we imagine that variables corresponding to vaccine charges, improved therapies and masks mandates ought to be thought of because the pandemic and science proceed to evolve.”

Not all agree. The Affiliation of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents roughly 50,000 flight attendants at 17 airways, wrote to the CDC to voice help for the 10-day isolation interval.

“We acknowledge that how lengthy an individual ought to isolate is just not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ variety of days. We additionally word that totally vaccinated individuals could also be much less infectious for much less time than unvaccinated individuals. Nonetheless, we contemplate your present 10-day suggestion to signify a prudent center floor,” reads a Thursday letter signed by AFA Worldwide President Sara Nelson. “We don’t see the justification for lowering the variety of days presently.”

Comply with USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter: @bailey_schulz. 

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