Airlines slash 945 flights for a SIXTH day and delay 3,917

America’s never-ending travel nightmare: Airlines slash more than 900 flights for a SIXTH day and delay close to 4,000 as chaos continues

  • Staffing shortages led United to cancel 162 flights on Wednesday while Delta said it has canceled 125 and JetBlue said it had canceled 98 flights
  • So far on Wednesday, approximately 945 flights scheduled to enter, leave or fly within the U.S. were canceled and 3,917 were delayed
  • Travelers have to contend with weather related cancellations as the Western U.S and Pacific Northwest braces for sweeping winter storms  
  • Alaska Airlines said it would decrease Seattle departures by around 20 percent to allow for additional time to de-ice aircraft
  • As airlines scramble to deal with the Omicron surge and weather, passengers have been left stranded, leaving them to air frustrations out on Twitter
  • ‘My second flight has been canceled and the agent is giving me an option to pick up the remainder of the journey 2 days later. Sigh!’ someone tweeted
  • The holiday travel nightmare continued Wednesday – with no end in sight – for the sixth day as nearly 800 flights were canceled and 1,000 delayed amid looming winter storms in the western U.S. and the Omicron surge.

    Staffing shortages caused by Omicron infections led United airline to cancel 162 flights Wednesday while Atlanta-based Delta said it canceled 125, and JetBlue reported 98 nixed flights. 

    So far on Wednesday, 945 flights scheduled to enter, leave or fly in the U.S. were canceled and 3,917 were delayed, according to tracking website FlightAware.

    Travelers wait on a long line in Miami International Airport on Tuesday as they navigate the chaotic travel delays brought on by Omicron

    Travelers wait on a long line in Miami International Airport on Tuesday as they navigate the chaotic travel delays brought on by Omicron

    Travelers make their way through Miami International Airport on Wednesday as the travel nightmare drags into it's sixth day

    Travelers make their way through Miami International Airport on Wednesday as the travel nightmare drags into it’s sixth day 

    Passengers at Miami International Airport check the flight information board to check for cancellations or delays caused by short staffing due to the Omicron surge

    Passengers at Miami International Airport check the flight information board to check for cancellations or delays caused by short staffing due to the Omicron surge

    Patient travelers stand in a long line at Salt Lake City International Airport on Monday when over 1,000 flights were cancelled

    Patient travelers stand in a long line at Salt Lake City International Airport on Monday when over 1,000 flights were cancelled 

    More cancellations are expected during the day as airlines scramble to deal with the knock-on effect of the resurgence of COVID.

    According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. is averaging 181,948 COVID cases every day, with that number set to increase in the coming days due to reporting lags during the holiday season. Nearly three out of every four cases, or 73 percent, are the Omicron variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports. 

    Wednesday’s cancellations dragged the holiday travel nightmare into its sixth day.

    The chaos was kickstarted over the holiday weekend after more 7,300 flights were impacted Sunday, and 4,000 flights were canceled or delayed on Christmas Day, frustrating travelers.

    And now travelers have to contend with weather-related cancellations going into Wednesday and Thursday as the West and Pacific Northwest brace for winter storms expected to bring freezing temperatures and heavy snow.  

    Currently, a winter storm warning is in effect for parts of Northern California and Nevada into Wednesday evening as Washington and Oregon deal with the effects of severe weather. 

    The Portland area got one to three inches of snow and Seattle saw up to six inches. 

    Officials warned drivers on Tuesday to avoid snow filled Northern California highways, including R-49 and SR-89 in the Camptonville and Downieville areas (pictured)

    Officials warned drivers on Tuesday to avoid snow filled Northern California highways, including R-49 and SR-89 in the Camptonville and Downieville areas (pictured)

    As Northern California deals with snowfall and cold temperatures, crews are hard at work clearing highways such as SR-49 and SR-89  in the Camptonville/Downieville area (pictured)

    As Northern California deals with snowfall and cold temperatures, crews are hard at work clearing highways such as SR-49 and SR-89  in the Camptonville/Downieville area (pictured) 

    Travelers have to contend with weather related cancellations as the Western U.S and Pacific Northwest braces for sweeping winter storms (picture: Tahoe National Forest on Wednesday)

    Travelers have to contend with weather related cancellations as the Western U.S and Pacific Northwest braces for sweeping winter storms (picture: Tahoe National Forest on Wednesday)

    In Southwestern California, forecasters expect 1 to 3 inches of rain for coastal and valley areas and 1 to 2 inches in the mountains of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties (pictured: Kirkwood, California on Tuesday)

    In Southwestern California, forecasters expect 1 to 3 inches of rain for coastal and valley areas and 1 to 2 inches in the mountains of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties (pictured: Kirkwood, California on Tuesday)








    In southwestern California, forecasters expect 1 to 3 inches of rain for coastal and valley areas and  1 to 2 inches in the mountains of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, the National Weather Service said.

    As a result, Alaska Airlines said it would decrease Seattle departures by around 20 percent to allow additional time to de-ice aircraft, NBC News reported.

    The snowy weather in the Pacific Northwest contributed to the cancellation of more than 110 flights scheduled to land at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Monday, Reuters reported. 








    The travel havoc has not been limited to just the U.S. European airlines also were affected after experiencing their own Covid-19 surge.

    That includes British Airways, which has canceled ‘a number of flights due to operational constraints,’ ​and was forced to use larger aircrafts, a spokesperson told CNN. 

    On Wednesday, the airline canceled 15 flights and delayed 42, according to FlightAware. BA canceled 46 on Monday.

    German airline Lufthansa said it will cancel 10 percent of its winter flight schedule due to Covid-19, CNN reported.  

    As airlines scramble to deal with the Omicron surge and weather, passengers have been left stranded, leaving them to air their frustrations on social media.    

    ‘Delta what is going on with your flights, this is second flight in 2 days that will be canceled and cant reach any single representative without waiting more than 3 hours?’ an angry customer tweeted on Wednesday.  

    Another customer said the wait time for customer service was outrageous: ‘Hey Alaska Air you cancelled my flight, told me to change my reservation online, and then your online portal told me I needed to call your 1-800 number—but when I did that, it said there was a 20 hour wait to speak to an agent and I still haven’t gotten a callback. Help?’ 

    ‘Hey United you canceled my connecting flight home, then delayed the rescheduled flight 3 times, and now you literally can’t find a flight crew. Some people have been waiting here for 12 hours. When are you going to just give in and out us up in a hotel?’ someone else tweeted. 

    ‘The ordeal at Delta continues, my second flight has been cancelled and the agent is giving me an option to pick up the remainder of the journey 2 days later. Sigh!’ another frustrated traveler tweeted. 

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