More Than 6,000 Flights Canceled During Christmas Weekend Worldwide

By Jason Hall

December 26, 2021

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Hundreds of additional flights were reportedly canceled on Sunday (December 26), bringing the total to more than 6,000 during Christmas weekend.

CNN reports nearly 700 flights were canceled and an additional 1,300 experienced delays in the U.S. on Sunday, while a total of 2,000 were canceled globally, according to FlightAware.

In total, 6,000 flights worldwide were canceled between Friday (December 24) and Sunday, which included 1,700 U.S. flights in and out of the country.

The cancelations and delays came as staff and crew members called out sick amid a recent spike in COVID-19 cases during the surge of the recently discovered Omicron variant, while millions of people are still traveling for the holidays.

The TSA said it screened 2.19 million passengers nationwide on Thursday (December 23), which was the highest number of the holiday season.

On Thursday, United Airlines said it had to "cancel some flights" amid the Omicron variant spike and its "direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation," according to a memo obtained by CNN.

United canceled 201 flights on Friday, which equaled 10% of its total schedule, as well as an additional 238 flights (12%) on Saturday (December 25), according to FlightAware via CNN.

Delta Air Lines also canceled 173 Christmas Eve flights, also due to issues stemming from the spread of the Omicron variant.

"We apologize to our customers for the delay in their holiday travel plans," Delta said in a statement obtained by CNN. "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."

JetBlue canceled 80 flights, accounting for about 7% of its flight schedule, on Christmas Eve, while Alaska Airlines confirmed it canceled 17 flights on Thursday in a statement shared prior to canceling an additional 11 on Friday.

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