Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have already cancelled hundreds of flights this morning, as staffing shortages impact flight operations over the Christmas holiday.
Christmas Meltdown Plagues Delta Air Lines And United Airlines
As of noon ET, Delta Air Lines has cancelled 295 flights and delayed 87 flights while United Airlines has cancelled 238 flights and delayed 59 flights. Yesterday, Delta cancelled 173 flights and delayed 215 flights while United cancelled 200 flights and delayed 315 flights. Today’s cancellations represent 14% of overall flights for Delta and 12% of flights for United.
In a memo to reservation agents reviewed by Live and Let’s Fly, United places the blame on omicron variant.
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 our team is working hard to notify impacted customers in advance of them coming to the airport.
There may be an increase in call volumes on this topic as we work through the cancellations.
With flight cancellations already approaching 300 per carrier, Delta and United are approaching a meltdown. While Delta blames bad weather and both Delta and United blame the omicron variant, the culprit is staffing…not enough staff willing to work extra hours, too many staff calling in sick, and a pilot shortage that continues even as 2021 comes to a close.
Tips If Your Flight Is Delayed Or Cancelled
If you find your flight is delayed or cancelled today, first checked to see if you have been automatically rebooked. Both Delta and United have proactively tried to re-route impacted passengers, when possible.
Should you not be rebooked or the new schedule not work, you can expect long hold times to reach a reservations agent or long lines at airports.
To minimize your wait time, try to rebook your travel on the Delta or United app. Both have become better at offering alternative travel plans. If you do have to reach an agent, both Delta and United have a hit-or-miss call back feature, so try reaching out on Twitter.
With United, you can try its “agent on demand” option, though wait times to speak to an agent via that platform are also long.
>Read More: United Airlines Introduces “Agent On Demand”
Both Delta and United have cancelled hundreds of flights this morning after a rough operational day on Christmas Eve. Check your flight status before heading to the airport and understand that we will likely see more delays and additional cancellations as the day progresses.