Both airlines, United Airlines and Delta, said they have canceled more than 200 flights on Christmas Eve due to an increase in COVID-19 cases affecting their employees.
The cancellations come as the Transportation Security Administration claims that the number of people traveling on holidays is back to pre-pandemic levels.
“The nationwide increase in Omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operations,” a United Airlines spokesperson said in a statement. “As a result, we have unfortunately had to cancel some flights and notify affected customers before they reach the airport.”
Vacation travel is approaching pre-pandemic levels as of now, the airline plans to cancel 120 on Friday. A spokesperson for Delta Airlines said they plan to cancel about 90 flights.
“Delta teams have exhausted all options and resources, including rerouting and replacing aircraft and crews to cover scheduled flights, before canceling about 90 flights on Friday,” the airline said.
American and Southwest Airlines said they have no plans to cancel any flights due to personnel issues with COVID-19. The cancellations come in United and Delta as millions of people are expected to travel during the holidays.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges those planning to travel to get a full vaccination against COVID-19. It is also advised to avoid crowded and poorly ventilated places and to use nasobuco in enclosed public places.
The CDC has also warned of an increase in cases of COVID-19, as the rapidly spreading variant of Omicron infects many across the country.
Ómicron has become the dominant strain of the virus in the United States. Health officials are urging people to get vaccinated.
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