Flights continued to be canceled by hundreds across the country over the Christmas weekend as airline workers came down with the highly contagious COVID-19 Omicron variant.
Nearly a thousand domestic and international flights with one leg in the United States were shelved on Saturday, up from 690 flights the day before, according to FlightAware, a website for flight tracking.
More than 600 flights scheduled to depart in the United States on Sunday had already been canceled.
Representatives from Delta, United and JetBlue said that the disruptions were related to manning problems related to the spread of the variant when the three airlines canceled over 1[ads1]0 percent of their Christmas flights.
American Airlines said their 90 Saturday cancellations stemmed from “COVID-related sick leave.”
A United spokesman said it was unclear when the “unexpected” cancellations would be resumed.
“Nobody got organized and tried to sort things out,” said Peter Bockman, a retired actor, after his Friday flight from New York to Dakar was canceled. “Nobody explained anything. Not even “Oh, we’m sorry, this is what we can do to help you,” he said of Delta’s customer service.
Bockman and his daughter Malaika ended up missing the family reunion in Senegal and getting a new flight Monday night with a stopover in Paris, a connection that did not reassure the family as 6,000 global flights were canceled over the weekend.
Delta was among the American airlines that asked the White House to reduce the length of the COVID-19 quarantine to start the industry. On Thursday, the CDC cut the isolation time for healthcare professionals exposed to the virus from 10 to seven days.