JetBlue is proactively cancelling 1,288 flights over the next two weeks as it continues to suffer from a crew shortage it blames on the omicron variant.
JetBlue Is Proactively Cancelling 1,288 Flights
In a memo to pilots and flight attendants shared with Live and Let’s Fly, JetBlue tells crewmembers to check assignments and prepare for schedule changes as it processes the cancellations. The 1,288 cancellations will run through January 13, 2022.
Publicly, JetBlue has blamed the cancellations on a surge of COVID cases in the U.S. Northeast:
“While the new CDC guidelines should help get crewmembers back to work sooner, and our schedule reduction and other efforts will further ease day-of cancellations, we expect the number of COVID cases in the northeast — where most of our crewmembers are based — to continue to surge for the next week or two. This means there is a high likelihood of additional cancellations until case counts start to come down.”
Passengers impacted by the flight cancellations will be re-accomodated, where possible, on other segments and/or routings. If your flight is impacted, JetBlue will automatically rebook you when possible. If the new routing(s) or flight time(s) do not work, you can attempt to make changes on the JetBlue app or website before reaching out to the JetBlue call center, which has been weighed down by high call volume.
Indeed, Flight Aware shows JetBlue cancelled 106 flights on Wednesday and has already cancelled 172 flights today. In addition, 377 flights were delayed yesterday, representing more than one third of JetBlue’s scheduled flights.
Operational difficulties also continue at Alaska, Delta, Frontier, SkyWest, Southwest, Spirit, and United, though American Airlines had a much better day yesterday than its peers.
JetBlue and other carriers are blaming the fast-spreading omicron variant for a cascade of flight delays. As cancellations and delays now become a daily occurrence, travelers are advised to keep an even closer eye on their itineraries, arrive early at airports, and be ready to make last-minute changes.