783 Flights Cancelled Today Due to Omicron
Epic holiday travel problems continue to wreak havoc across the country.
We truly hope you are not reading this while stuck in a hotel or airport.
Monday morning, the airline data tracker Flightaware reported that 783 flights within, into, or out of the U.S. were canceled, and approximately 453 flights were delayed. Many airlines are reporting that the cancellations are due to a combination of bad weather and staffing issues caused by the Omicron variant.
Speaking to Fox Business News, a JetBlue spokesperson explained, "Despite our best efforts, we've had to cancel a number of flights, and additional flight cancellations and other delays remain a possibility as we see more Omicron community spread. The health and safety of our crewmembers and customers remains our top priority as we work through this pandemic, and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience that these schedule changes bring during the holidays."
Fox Business News reports that Airlines for America, a trade organization representing major U.S. airlines, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines, sent a letter to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, asking for isolation guidelines for their employees to be revisited. Specifically, proposing a 5-day period from the time symptoms are first felt.
"Current medical data suggests that Omicron is 25-50 percent more contagious, but likely less virulent and milder symptoms particularly among individuals who are fully vaccinated. Further Omicron is also associated with a shorter incubation period and infectious period among the fully vaccinated. We believe that these combined variables justify a hastened reassessment of isolation guidelines and look forward to working with you to implement sound policies that protect the health and safety of our workforce and customers as the pandemic evolves," read the letter in part.
The 5-day time frame has already been adopted for essential workers in New York State. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul explained that the change in the isolation period for fully vaccinated workers is necessary to allow for the continued functioning of "critical services that New Yorkers need — healthcare, transportation, grocery stores."