SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – While many people seemed to enjoy traveling on Christmas Eve, passengers from coast to coast have faced flight cancellations throughout the day.
“I received a text this morning saying my flight had been canceled earlier,” said Patrick Schuler, an SFO traveler. “That’s what it is – things happen.”
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While several airlines have had to cancel flights, the two US carriers that canceled the most flights were United Airlines and Delta Airlines. As of 5:30 p.m., United canceled 194 flights and Delta canceled 171 flights, according to flight tracking site flightaware.com.
Spokesmen for both airlines explained that the fast-spreading Omicron variant had a direct impact on their operations.
A Delta spokesperson provided KPIX 5 with the following statement:
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“As winter conditions affect the northwest and northeastern United States, the omicron variant continues to increase, Delta crews exhausted all options and resources before canceling approximately 158 flights on the program. of nearly 3,100 flights on Friday.
“We apologize to our clients for the delay in their vacation travel plans. Delta employees work around the clock to redirect and replace planes and crews to get customers where they need to be as quickly and safely as possible. When this is not possible, Delta reservations specialists coordinate with our operations and customer center to get those affected on the next available flight.
“A combination of issues including, but not limited to inclement weather in parts of the country and the impact of the omicron variant, are causing cancellations and potential delays. Over 150 cancellations are expected on Saturday and Sunday. Customers are encouraged to check their flight status and manage their new booking through Delta.com or the Fly Delta mobile app. Updates can also be sent directly to a mobile device or via email.
A United spokesperson provided KPIX 5 with the following statement:
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“The national peak of Omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operations. As a result, we unfortunately had to cancel some flights and notify affected customers in advance of their arrival at the airport. We apologize for the disruption and are working hard to book as many people as possible and get them off for the holidays.