EXPLAINER: Why Are So Many Flights Being Canceled?

Powers that have disrupted flights since Christmas may be reduced in January, but they are a joy to millions of pilots and New Year’s plans.

And if 2021 has taught us anything, then 2022 could be unexpected.

Here’s what has disrupted air travel for thousands of people this holiday season, as well as what could happen in the next few weeks:


The aircraft were not spared the recent spread of COVID-19, which eliminated airline crews who had already reduced the number of crews following the collapse of aviation in 2020.

The outbreak of COVID-19 infection came at a time when hosts were starting to fill up with airports to go on vacation. Then the Pacific Northwest and other areas were hit by a severe snowstorm.

A combination of all three aircraft will force the aircraft to block thousands of flights since Christmas. As of Thursday afternoon, about 7,800 aircraft departing, departing, or inside the US have been landing, according to FlightAware. More than 1,100 of them were on Thursday.

The US was not alone. There have been thousands of restrictions abroad. Airlines in Europe and Australia also report on the status of COVID-19 and aircraft operators. Chinese airlines have caused more people to stop.

To understand this, most flights were ideal. There are about 70,000 flights a day, worldwide, said Cirium.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention advises people not to travel on ships, regardless of whether they are vaccinated, because of the high risk of contracting COVID infection in ships.


U.S. health officials this week reduced their five-day isolation to asymptomatic Americans infected with coronavirus. Aircraft engineers say this will ease the pressure on workers to compensate pilots – but airlines say they are concerned about the changes and how they could affect the health of workers. However, COVID-19 cases continue to rise. And that’s not the only problem.

It could take up to a week for planes to return to bad weather, says Jim Hetzel, a pilot at Cirium.

Going through the holidays can also help. January and February are the slowest months of the year after New Year’s Eve, says Willis Orlando, chief pilot at Scott’s Cheap Flights. “There needs to be more space for pilots to ease the route, redistribute pilots and have more staff.”

Some pilots have also discovered that the combination of vacation time, COVID-19 and bad weather makes it impossible to keep up with current developments.

JetBlue said Wednesday that it is reducing its schedule to mid-January and hopes to give customers more time to do other things instead of just being delayed at the last minute – although some bans are still possible.

Spokesman Derek Dombrowski said: “He also said that his co-workers are volunteering to work overtime and that managers are coming in and training to do so.

Alaska Airlines encouraged runners who were able to resume after January 2, as they are slowing down Seattle departures and further bans and delays are expected this week. Delta and United spokesman said they could not determine when the operation would take place.

As the number of cases in more parts of the country increased due to the spread of the Omicron species of coronavirus, the CDC changed its guidelines for returning vaccinated and non-vaccinated people back to work. LX News Now Host Eric Alvarez explains why this change was made and what you need to know.


Bad weather threatens from time to time but always goes away in the winter. The return of 2021 on a trip, when the planes did not have enough staff to meet their demands, led to a halt and a delay earlier this year.

Southwest Airlines suffered summer and fall due to delays and layoffs, which led to computer problems, staff shortages and bad weather. The United States suspended more than 1,000 visits over the weekend for Halloween due to staff shortages. Delta has banned a number of flights around Easter this year due to labor issues.


The recent increase in COVID-19 cases surprised the system and its speed spread to almost everyone, including aircraft.

“This is very difficult,” said Hetzel, an expert at Cirium.

Some airlines were more affected than others because of where they used to work. The Southwest and the United States were less likely to be in the US territory where the weather was bad, with fewer workers living in areas where COVID-19 cases were growing, said Raymond James Savanthi Syth.

Working groups, however, say more would have been done, such as offering extra pay to pilots during the holidays. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents 50,000 crew on 17 airlines including United, Alaska, Frontier and Spirit, said Delta started offering Christmas presents but must have done so soon. The union representing American pilots says it may have helped the plane remember the crew who was on vacation. In a statement from November, the chief pilot of the United States said more than 1,800 pilots had returned from vacation in November, and 800 had returned in December, along with 600 new jobs.

Syth, of Raymond James, also looked at which aircraft he thought were most vulnerable to vacation time, making them the biggest gain of the fourth quarter of flights. He found that the planes that had been careful in preparing for the time of the crash had crashed as well as the ones that were most aggressive.

“This leads me to believe that this is more closely related to the omicron-variant diversity and the greater impact that is taking place in the northeast right now than the inability of aircraft to prepare,” Syth said.

The flags were more in preparation for the holiday season than the hailstorms and hurricanes that disrupted earlier this year, said Charles Leocha, president and founder of Travelers United’s consumer advocacy group.

“It’s a long way from the events we experienced in the summer and autumn when we had planes that were crashed for two or three days,” Loecha said. “It has been a wonderful endeavor. Airlines pay more for air travel and pay more for air travel. “

Airlines have been hiring. The U.S. Department of Transportation said that as of October, US airlines had recruited more than 400,000 full-time employees, but this was less than 9% compared to what they had recorded two years ago.

Although critics say that this year’s airports were affected by the epidemic.

“The aircraft would have to be well prepared and (the Department of Aviation) would have to control the number of aircraft and need storage equipment and personnel ready to receive major federal assistance from 2020,” said Paul Hudson, president of the FlyersRights.org promotional group.


If your trip is canceled, most flights will take you on the next available flight to your destination for free. “They have found a way to get you there. You do not have to pay anything,” Leocha said.

If you cancel your trip instead of taking another flight, you have the right to refund your money, even if you have non-refundable tickets. When blocking flights, pilots prefer to push customers to future flight vouchers instead of paying the full amount. Orlando, Scott’s Cheap Flights, encouraged travelers to remember their right to a refund. “Airplanes make it easier to let them save your money,” he said.

You can also ask the pilots to transfer your ticket to another plane, but there is no compulsion. Similarly, pilots do not need to reimburse you for hotel rooms, cabs or other expenses.

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