NATIONAL NEWS

United and Delta cancel flights just before Christmas Eve

Dec 23, 2021, 7:47 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 3:22 pm
A United Airlines plane takes off from San Francisco International Airport on April 18, 2018 in San...
A United Airlines plane takes off from San Francisco International Airport on April 18, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(CNN) — At least two major airlines in the United States have canceled flights just before Christmas Eve.

On Thursday, United Airlines said it had to “cancel some flights” because of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

“The nationwide spike in Omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation,” said a United memo obtained by CNN.

United has canceled more than 100 Friday flights, according to flight tracking site FlightAware.

United said it is “notifying impacted customers in advance of them coming to the airport,” according to a company statement. “We’re sorry for the disruption and are working hard to rebook as many people as possible and get them on their way for the holidays.”

Their statement reads in full:

“The nationwide spike in Omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation. As a result, we’ve unfortunately had to cancel some flights and are notifying impacted customers in advance of them coming to the airport. We’re sorry for the disruption and are working hard to rebook as many people as possible and get them on their way for the holidays.”

Later Thursday night, Delta Air Lines also canceled flights. The airline canceled 93 Christmas Eve flights, according to FlightAware. That’s 4% of its total schedule.

Delta said the cancellations are due to multiple issues including the Omicron variant.

“Delta teams have exhausted all options and resources — including rerouting and substitutions of aircraft and crews to cover scheduled flying — before canceling around 90 flights for Friday. We apologize to our customers for the delay in their holiday travel plans. Delta people are working hard to get them to where they need to be as quickly and as safely as possible on the next available flight.”

According to Nancy Volmer with the Salt Lake City International Airport, Delta has canceled 10 flights in and out of Salt Lake City on Friday, while United has canceled one flight in and out of Utah’s capital.

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United and Delta cancel flights just before Christmas Eve