Flight cancellations continue due to bad weather, sick crews

<p><p>NEW YORK — Flight cancellations that <a href=”https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-lifestyle-health-business-travel-e08ef1ae7825361486b2d3eb404d5381″ target=”—blank”>disrupted holiday travel</a> stretched into Monday, with major U.S. airlines each canceling dozens of flights.</p></p><p><p>Staffers calling out sick because of COVID-19, particularly since the emergence of the omnicron variant, have left airlines short in recent days.</p></p><p><p>According to FlightAware, which tracks flight cancellations, airlines have canceled roughly 4,000 flights to, from or inside the U.S. since Friday.</p></p><p><p>Delta, United, JetBlue and American have all said that the coronavirus was causing staffing problems, and European and Australian airlines also canceled holiday-season flights because staff were infected, but weather and other factors played a role as well.</p></p><p><p><a href=”https://apnews.com/article/business-seattle-washington-weather-b107d3b3327f0ebdeec3b5a329259dbf” target=”—blank”>Winter weather</a> in the Pacific Northwest led to nearly 250 flight cancellations to or from Seattle on Sunday, said Alaska Airlines, and the airline expects more than 100 flight cancellations Monday.</p></p><p><p>But it says that crew calling out sick because of COVID-19 is no longer a factor.</p></p><p><p>United said it canceled 115 flights Monday, out of more than 4,000 scheduled, due to crews out with COVID-19.</p></p><p><p>Flight delays and cancellations tied to staffing shortages have been a consistent problem this year.</p></p><p><p>Airlines encouraged workers to quit in 2020 when air travel collapsed, and were caught short-staffed this year as air travel rebounded faster than almost anyone had expected.</p></p><p><p>Airlines have called on the Biden administration to shorten the guidelines for the isolation period for vaccinated workers who get COVID-19, in order to ease staffing shortages.</p></p><p><p>The union for flight attendants has <a href=”https://www.afacwa.org/remain%E2%80%94vigilant%E2%80%94during%E2%80%94holiday%E2%80%94travel%E2%80%94and%E2%80%94omicron” target=”—blank”>pushed back</a> against that, saying the isolation period should remain 10 days.</p></p>