Airlines cancel thousands of Christmas flights due to staff shortages

Airplanes YUKI IWAMURA/AFP via Getty Images

Airlines canceled more than 2,500 flights Christmas Day, including 880 within, into, or out of the United States, NPR reports. Delta, for example, canceled 14 percent of its Christmas flights.

As Omicron spreads and large numbers of employees call in sick, airlines are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with demand for flights while also keeping staff and passengers safe.

During the week leading up to Christmas, four Democratic lawmakers, including California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, wrote an open letter to the heads of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) urging the agencies to mandate "proof of vaccination or a negative test for domestic flights," The Hill reports. Under the current policy, such documentation is required only for international flights.

Under U.S. Department of Transportation regulations, ticket holders whose flights are canceled are entitled to refunds. That refund could, however, take a while to arrive. For more advice from travel bloggers and consumer advocates, read the full story in The Washington Post.

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