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Airport Nightmare Continues Into 2022, U.S. Flight Cancellations Hit New Heights
Flight information on a departure board at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., on Monday, Dec. 27, 2021. Flight cancellations that disrupted U.S. travel over the Christmas weekend stretched into Monday, with winter storms further pressuring carriers that were already short-staffed because of spreading Covid-19 cases.
Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Flight cancellations in the United States have dragged the “Christmas flightmare” experienced by travelers over the Christmas period into the new year.

According to FlightAware, over 3,300 flights globally have been canceled on Sunday so far, while nearly 4,400 flights around the world were cancelled on Saturday. Of these, 2,500 flights were in the U.S. on Saturday, and 1,910 were in the U.S. on Sunday.

Chicago O’Hare International Airport has been hardest hit, with 256 flights cancelled, amounting to 25% of all flights. Denver International Airport and Newark International Airport has seen numerous cancellations, as has Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, New York’s JFK and Boston’s Logan International Airport.

As was the case over the Christmas holiday, airlines have been struggling with staffing numbers due to the spread of COVID-19, as well as bad weather in the United States. Since December 24, more than 12,000 flights have been cancelled in the U.S. alone.

“Today’s cancellations are driven by Omicron staffing and weather-related issues. We did pre-cancel flights in anticipation of inclement weather. We’ve been contacting passengers early if their flights are cancelled to give them time to rebook or make other plans,” United Airlines said in a statement.

Allegiant canceled 27% of its flights on Saturday, with spokeswoman Hilarie Grey blaming COVID-19 staffing issues and weather.

As you’ve noted, we continue to have an unusual number of cancellations this week — some have been due to severe weather, and some due to other factors — including the type of unanticipated staff impacts from COVID experienced by other airlines and partners in places where we fly,” Grey told CNN. “The ongoing impact of these factors is not something we can predict, but we do anticipate additional delays and cancellations this week, unfortunately. Of course when an unanticipated disruption to travel occurs, customer care notifies the affected passengers directly and relays options to be re-accommodated to another flight, receive a refund, credit or other compensation.”

As The Daily Wire previously noted, airlines grappling with these issues are now tripling pay for employees. CNBC reported that United Airlines will significantly hike compensation for pilots who take extra trips:

United and the pilots union, the Air Line Pilots Association, reached an agreement for higher pay to cover open trips, Bryan Quigley, United’s senior vice president of flight operations said Friday in a staff note, which was seen by CNBC.

Pilots will be offered three-and-a-half times their pay for flying open trips between Dec. 30 and Jan. 3 and triple pay for picking up trips between Jan. 4 and Jan. 29, the note said.

Spirit Airlines is doubling pay for flight attendants, according to CNN Business:

Spirit Airlines flight attendants are receiving double pay on any work through January 4, their union said, as the budget carrier scrambles to keep its schedules intact after U.S. airlines were hammered by a week of mass cancellations…

“All flight attendants, regardless of how you have obtained your pairing, will be receiving 200% pay for any pairing that touches Dec. 28 through Jan. 4,” the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA said in a statement. The union represented about 4,000 flights attendants at Spirit Airlines, according to the carrier’s latest annual filing.

Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Airport Nightmare Continues Into 2022, U.S. Flight Cancellations Hit New Heights