An United Airlines representative says its unclear when flights will return to normal
The omicron variant is complicating holiday travel plans for many across the United States, with hundreds of flights scrapped due to Covid-related staffing issues.
Almost 1,000 domestic and international US flights were canceled on Saturday, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware, with 250 more already scrapped for Sunday travel.
The Saturday cancellations amounted to over 10 percent of the scheduled trips from JetBlue, United, and Delta airlines, FlightAware reported.
Derek Walls, a spokesperson for American Airlines, attributed the scrapped flights to “Covid-related sick calls,” according to the Associated Press.
The resulting cancellations left many travelers hoping to visit family over the holidays feeling neglected as passengers scrambled to rebook flights.
Peter Bockman, a traveler heading to Senegal with his daughter Malaika, discovered their flight to Dakar was canceled only after arriving at the airport.
“Nobody was organizing, trying to sort things out,” Bockman explained, AP reported.
“Nobody explained anything. Not even, ‘Oh we’re so sorry, this is what we can do to help you,’” he said, upset over the absence of Delta’s customer service.
Maddie King, a representative from United Airlines, said it was not clear when flights would return to normal, and added that omicron’s impact on staffing was “unexpected.”