Flights continued to be canceled by the hundreds across the country over the Christmas weekend as airline workers come down with the highly contagious COVID-19 Omicron variant.
According to flight-tracking website, FlightAware, nearly a thousand one-leg domestic and international flights in the US were grounded on Saturday, up from 690 a day earlier.
More than 570 flights that left the US on Sunday had already been cancelled.
Representatives for Delta, United and JetBlue said the disruption was linked to staffing problems related to the spread of the variant as the three airlines canceled more than 10 percent of their Christmas flights.
American Airlines said its 90 Saturday cancellations stemmed from “COVID-related sick calls”.
A United spokesman said it was unclear when the “unexpected” cancellations would resume.
“Nobody was organizing, trying to sort things out,” said Peter Bockman, a retired actor, after his Friday flight from New York to Dakar was cancelled. “Nobody explained anything. About Delta’s customer service, he said, ‘Oh, we’re so sorry, that’s all we can do to help you.’
Bockman and his daughter Malaika missed their family gathering in Senegal and received a new flight with a layover in Paris on Monday evening, a connection that did not reassure the family as 6,000 global flights were canceled over the weekend .
Delta was among US airlines that called on the White House to reduce the length of the COVID-19 quarantine to start the industry. On Thursday, the CDC reduced the isolation time for health care workers exposed to the virus from 10 to seven days.