Delta, United cancel flights due to COVID-19-related issues; impacts felt at Newark Airport
While the Omicron variant spreads and COVID-19 cases surge statewide, hundreds of flights on some of the country’s major airlines are canceled on Christmas Eve.
News 12 New Jersey's Keith Kocinski was at Terminal B at New Jersey Newark Liberty International Airport where over 60 flights were canceled.
Airlines cited impacts associated with the Omicron variant and inclement weather as a couple reasons for the delays and cancellations.
In a statement from a United Airlines spokesperson they say, “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.”
Also, Delta has around 100 cancellations. In a statement from a Delta Spokesperson they say, “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.”
The airlines say they are working on getting them on the next available flight and flight cancellations are due to a combination of issues, including but not limited to, potential inclement weather in some areas and the impact of the Omicron variant.
News 12 New Jersey spoke with some travelers about the impacts to their flights. They explained what they are doing to get their minds off the situation on Christmas Eve.
"We don't worry about anything. Whatever happens, happens. You know we're adults now, we have no more kids. If the flight gets canceled it gets canceled," said Edward Janovsky, of New Brunswick.
"Drinking coffee, and snacking, which is not a great idea but we have an excuse for it now and just toughing it out. We just gotta wait," said Gordon Chilvers, of Johannesburg, South Africa.
Other flyers said their flights were on time or their travels have been smooth so far. However, As of right now, there are 25 more cancellations overall at the airport on Christmas.