cascading flight cancellations, between storm and Omicron

Taking a plane was an obstacle course in the United States on Sunday, right back from the Christmas holidays, with more than 2,600 flights canceled, the weather forecast adding to the disruptions linked to the Omicron variant.

The situation should remain complicated Monday, for the first working day of 2022, with more than 2,000 flights already canceled, in a country crossed since Saturday by the winter storm Frida.

2,650 flights canceled in the United States, out of 4,400 cancellations worldwide

As of 10 p.m. Sunday (3:00 a.m. GMT Monday), more than 2,650 domestic or international flights to or from the United States had been canceled, almost as many as the 2,750 flights canceled on Saturday, according to flight tracking service FlightAware. . This is more than half of the nearly 4,400 canceled flights worldwide at the same time. Nearly 8,600 US flights were delayed.

Southwest Airlines, one of the worst-hit airlines, had to cancel some 400 flights on Sunday morning and expects more cancellations. Nick Kagy, a passenger from Southwest, had his flight canceled: “We waited almost 3 hours to change reservations because we couldn’t change reservations online, and after we (not fully) sorted things out you got canceled our second flight to another airport, ”he laments on Twitter.

Passengers stranded for several days

“This is the third cancellation (…). I was supposed to come back 4 days ago ”, tweeted at the end of the day on Sunday Hayley, a passenger of the same company, from Chicago (Illinois).

Strong winds, floods and snowfall have in fact added to the disturbances in the United States that have affected the entire aviation sector in the world for a week. The highly contagious Omicron variant prevents many pilots, flight or ground personnel, sick or in the event of contact, from coming to work.

This lack of personnel is forcing companies to reduce their flight plans. Last weekend, just after Christmas, around 7,500 planes were canceled across the world.

The lack of personnel will also continue to disrupt the operation of airports, with luggage sometimes very difficult to recover, or a long wait on the phone for passengers trying to reach their destination.

Source: Le Progrès : info et actu nationale et régionale – Rhône, Loire, Ain, Haute-Loire et Jura | Le Progrès by

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