United, Delta cancel hundreds of flights due to COVID-19-related staff shortages; impacts felt at JFK

News 12’s Noelle Lilley was at the scene from John F. Kennedy International Airport.

News 12 Staff

Dec 24, 2021, 12:47 PM

Updated 849 days ago


United and Delta airlines have canceled hundreds of flights Friday and Saturday due to COVID-19-related staff shortages.
United Airlines told News 12 in a statement that it had to cancel more than 50 flights Friday because of staffing shortages thanks to the rise in cases.
Delta Airlines canceled around 90 flights.
United Airlines issued a statement on the cancellations saying, “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."
Delta Airlines released a statement saying, "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." Travelers are urged to check with their airlines to see the status of any future flights.”
JetBlue and Alaska Airlines also canceled Christmas Eve flights.
Despite the Omicron variant adding a new layer of uncertainty for travelers, AAA said it expected 6 million Americans to take to the skies for the holidays.
That number is three times what it was last year, even though the new Omicron variant has led to a rise in COVID-19 cases around the country, with the state of New York setting the record again for daily cases.

More from News 12