Thousands Of Flights Are Being Cancelled & Post-Holiday Air Travel Is Ridiculous Right Now
So. Many. Lineups. 😓
The holidays might be over, but the nightmare of the holiday travel season is still happening.
The start of 2022 is proving to be a chaotic one for hundreds of thousands of travellers, with long lines and a bunch of major flight cancellations happening around the world.
On Sunday, January 2, almost 4,500 flights were cancelled globally, with about 2,700 of them being in the United States, according to a live tally by FlightAware.
Airlines are pinning the blame on two things: crew shortages caused by the Omicron variant and bad winter weather across the eastern United States, according to CNBC.
Hundreds of thousands of people are dealing with travel issues because of those problems, and over 3,600 additional flights have already been cancelled as of 11 a.m. on January 3.
FlightAware also showed that SkyWest, China Eastern and Southwest Airlines were the worst hit by the cancellations.
SkyWest cancelled a whopping 23% of their scheduled flights on January 2, a total of 570.
The heavy cancellations and delays in air travel have been going on since the holiday season kicked in, and airlines worldwide have been struggling. On Christmas Eve, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines cancelled almost 300 flights collectively due to the significant shortage of staff caused by the Omicron variant.
Multiple other airlines such as JetBlue Airways have also cited the surge in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant as a reason for the flight disruptions, reported CNBC.
In addition to the chaos caused by the Omicron variant, bad weather caused by a winter storm resulted in mass cancellations around the busy hub of Chicago.
JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes warned staff that things are going to be a bit rough for the next little while in a New Year's Day memo to employees.
"While we're expecting a full recovery in 2022, it is going to be a year of two halves," Hayes said, according to CNBC. "Our traditional trough periods, especially these next few weeks after the holidays and as COVID-19 cases climb, are going to be tough."
Meanwhile, United is resorting to offering its pilots triple the pay if they pick up flights amidst the mayhem, reported NBC News. The offer stands until at least January 29, according to a staff note from Bryan Quigley, a flight operations executive at United.
Quigley said the offer is an attempt "to do everything we can to take care of our customers during this challenging time."
It's also a sign that air travel is going to suck for the next few weeks of January.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
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