Flight cancellations and delays continued to disrupt holiday travel at the nation’s airports Monday amid harsh winter weather and a surge in COVID-19 cases caused by the omicron variant.
Airlines cited labor shortages related to the omicron surge for the cancellation of hundreds of flights over the weekend. The problems continued Monday, with more than 8,000 flights to, from and within the United States having been canceled since Christmas Eve, according to data from FlightAware, an online flight tracking service.
To check on flights, check with the flight tracking service FlightAware or with your airport.
Delta, United, JetBlue and American have all cited coronavirus staffing problems. European and Australian airlines also canceled holiday-season flights because staff were infected, but weather and other factors played a role as well, The Associated Press reported.
Weather also played a role in the United States. Snow in the Pacific Northwest Sunday led to nearly 250 flight cancellations in and out of Seattle Sunday, according to Alaska Airlines, which expected about 100 weather-related flight cancellations Monday, the AP reported. COVID-19 wasn’t a factor in the cancellations.
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United Airlines canceled 115 of nearly 4,000 flights Monday because staff and crew members called in sick with COVID-19, the airline said.
Complicating matters, Sun Country Airlines and others canceled domestic flights because of a third-party network system outage Monday.
The Minnesota-based airline grounded its domestic flights after a holiday weekend filled with airline delays and cancellations due to winter weather and staffing shortages associated with the fast spreading omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Sun Country said it is working Federal Aviation Administration to manually clear flights for takeoff.
“We appreciate the patience of our guests as we work to get them safely on their way as quickly as possible,” the airline said.
A message on Sun Country’s website reads:
“We are experiencing a third-party system outage affecting Sun Country flights. We are working with this operator to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. Due to this outage, we expect some flights to be delayed or canceled, which will be communicated via email. Please visit www.suncountry.com/response for the latest information.”