Hundreds of flights in the United States were canceled on Wednesday (December 29) as airlines continue to deal with a rising number of COVID-19 cases among crew members and bad weather. Overall, more than 7,000 flights have been canceled since Christmas Eve, and even more, have been delayed.
Delta Air Lines was forced to cancel over 100 flights and delay roughly 900 on Tuesday.
“Winter weather and conditions in the Pacific Northwest, Midwest, and the omicron variant are continuing to hamper operations,” Delta said in a statement.
Alaska Airlines, which canceled 20% of its flights out of Seattle on Wednesday and Thursday, is asking passengers to reschedule their flights before the end of the year.
“We strongly urge flyers with non-essential travel scheduled before January 2, 2022, to consider changing their travel to a later date using our flexible travel policy,” the airline said in a statement.
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport had the highest number of flight cancellations in the world, in part due to a major winter storm.
“There is a myriad of reasons why airlines are struggling at SEA and nationwide from staffing challenges and winter weather to increased traveler numbers during the holidays. Thank you for your patience during these incredibly trying times,” the airport tweeted.
The delays and cancellations come during one of the busiest travel times of the year. The Transportation Security Administration is expecting 12.5 million people to pass through airports across the country by January 3.