DENVER, Colo. (KMGH) — Hundreds of flights are being canceled ahead of Christmas, as airlines say the problems are from COVID-19 related staff shortages and, in some areas, weather.
United Airlines and Delta Air Lines announced Thursday that they are forced to cancel Christmas Eve flights.
As of 11 a.m. on Christmas Eve, 331 flights were canceled between United, Delta and Alaska airlines.
- Delta:145 flights
- United: 175 flights
- Alaska: 11 flights
In a statement, United blamed the cancellations on staffing shortages due to COVID-19.
“The nationwide spike in omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation,” the statement said. “As a result, we’ve unfortunately had to cancel some flights."
United said it's notifying customers in advance of them arriving at the airport. The airline added that it is working to rebook as many passengers as possible.
On Friday, Delta released a statement saying the cancellations would last into the holiday weekend.
“A combination of issues, including but not limited to inclement weather in some areas of the country and the impact of the omicron variant, are driving cancellations and potential delays that are expected to continue throughout the weekend. Up to 200 of 3,004 flights on Saturday may be canceled, and up to 150 are expected for Sunday’s flight schedule.”
The cancellations couldn't come at a worse time. Millions of people are expected to travel for the holidays.