Return flights from the holidays in the first days of the new year were canceled or delayed, frustrating passengers.
More than 2,600 US planes and more than 4,400 aircraft worldwide landed on Sunday, according to the surveillance service. FlightAware.
More than 2,700 U.S. flights and more than 4,700 flights worldwide were canceled en masse on Saturday.
Natasha Enos, who spent a sleepless Saturday night and Sunday morning at Denver International Airport during a cross-country flight from Washington to San Francisco, said it was “utter chaos”.
The number of one-day U.S. planes landing on Saturday was the highest since airlines began blaming rising staff shortages shortly before Christmas. Govit-19 Infection among groups.
The winter storm that hit the Midwest on Saturday made Chicago the worst destination in the country for travelers over the weekend. A quarter of all flights at O’Hare Airport were canceled on Sunday.
Denver Airport also faced significant disruptions. Enos, who was flying on Frontier Airlines, was unaware that her connecting flight to California had been canceled until she had already landed in Denver. Amid concerns about the spread of the highly pervasive Omigron variant of the Covit-19, there was an urgent need to find alternative aircraft and to search for luggage packed with stranded and confused passengers.
“There were a lot of people in this very small space, not everyone was masked,” said the 28-year-old financial analyst. “There were a lot of tired kids and some families were very depressed.”
In Michigan, the commission that operates Detroit International Airport said staff are working 24 hours a day to clear snow and maintain the airport. Atlanta’s Airports Authority has advised passengers to arrive earlier than usual because of the high number of passengers, weather problems and epidemic-fuel shortages that will prolong the time it takes to get through the security gates.
And said thousands of miles from blizzards, Hawaiian Airlines would have to cancel several flights due to staff shortages across the islands and the Pacific.
Southwest Airlines said it was working to help customers affected by about 400 flights canceled nationwide on Sunday, about 11% of its schedule. The Dallas-based airline expects even more operational challenges as the storm system pushes into the East Coast.
American Airlines said most of the flights canceled on Sunday were canceled ahead of time to avoid last-minute disruptions at the airport.
SkyWest, a regional carrier operating under the names American Eagle, Delta Connection and United Express, landed nearly 500 aircraft on Sunday, 20 percent of its schedule, FlightAware said.
Airlines say they are taking steps to reduce cancellations caused by workers affected by the Omigron variant. United pays pilots three times or more their usual salary to fly open flights for most of January. A union spokesman said Spirit Airlines had reached an agreement with the flight attendants’ union until Tuesday to pay double pay for cabin employees.
Airlines expect extra pay and reduced schedules to be available through the holiday season and in mid-January when travel demand is generally low. This year’s seasonal decline may be sharper than normal as most business travelers have yet to land.