The new year brought the same problems for many air travelers in the United States. Canceled or delayed flights are causing a travel mess for passengers across the country. Many spent their new year in an airport.
Airlines canceled more than 5,000 flights over the weekend. And more than 2,600 U.S. flights and more than 4,100 worldwide were grounded as of midday Monday, according to tracking service FlightAware. Another 8,500 flights were delayed, including 3,100 in the U.S. More than 12,000 U.S. flights have been canceled since Christmas Eve. This is creating a huge backlog of passengers.
Airlines are reporting they simply have too many people to move and not enough planes. Airlines are also citing COVID-related staffing shortages for these delays and ongoing winter weather. A major snowstorm hit the Pacific Northwest last week. And now a massive system is moving across the East Coast.
While some staffing relief could be coming soon thanks to new relaxed CDC recommendations for quarantine times, the storms will take a few days to pass before airlines can resume their normal schedules.
Southwest Airlines had canceled about 575 flights, or 15% of Monday's schedule, by midday. Spokesman Brad Hawkins said storms over the weekend and on Monday affected operations at some of its biggest airports, including Chicago, Denver and Baltimore, and left planes and crews out of position.
Delta Air Lines issued a travel waiver to let customers reschedule flights to and from Baltimore and Washington.
SkyWest, a regional carrier that operates flights under the names American Eagle, Delta Connection and United Express, grounded more than 300 flights Monday after scrubbing 500 on Sunday.
With Fox News and The Associated Press.