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Post-Christmas travelers stress over U.S. flight cancellations

Published: Dec. 26, 2021 at 11:18 AM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - More than 2,000 flights were canceled in the United States over the Christmas holiday weekend, causing headaches for travelers.

The tracking website Flight Aware said many of the flights were grounded by the threat of rough weather, especially in the Pacific Northwest. But many other delays and cancellations were attributed by airlines to staffing shortages, with flight and ground crew personnel calling out sick due to the coronavirus omicron variant surge.

“I heard about 2,400 over the last few days, and I was just hoping maybe ours will ... you know ... or else we’ll be here forever,” Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport passenger Michael Daniels said.

At least one flight to Atlanta was canceled Sunday, but most scheduled flights out of MSY were either on time or just slightly delayed.

The Daniels spent their Christmas on a cruise ship, and said traveling during a pandemic is something to which they’ve unfortunately become accustomed. But they don’t mind as long as everyone is safe.

“We’ve not run into any trouble so far,” Daniels said.

Some at Armstrong International Airport said they were lucky enough to be able to travel home or go on their post-Christmas vacation without much fuss, but they were aware of issues.

“We are headed to Tampa, Florida. We are going to Clearwater from Tampa for a beach trip because my daughter Emma just graduated high school,” said Julie Mohan of St. James Parish.

“So far, knock on wood, our flight is still saying it’s on time.”

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