United, Delta Airlines cancel Christmas Eve flights due to Omicron variant

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ST. LOUIS – The Omicron variant has caused Christmas flight cancellations and holiday travel headaches. United and Delta airlines are both blaming cancellations on issues stemming from the omicron variant.

At least two major airlines canceled dozens of flights scheduled for Christmas Eve due to the omicron variant and staffing shortages. 

On Thursday, United Airlines announced it canceled more than 150 flights scheduled for Christmas Eve. Delta Air Lines also canceled close to 100 flights, according to FlightAware.

There has been a 6% increase in COVID-19 cases in the last three weeks in St. Louis City and County.
Earlier on Thursday, the COVID numbers did not detour travelers from catching flights before Christmas. St. Louis Lambert International Airport officials said the day of Christmas Eve is the busiest travel day before the holiday.

United Airlines released the following statement saying: “The nationwide spike in omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation.” 

The airline has called off more than 150 flights nationwide. None so far in St. Louis. 

Delta Airlines says its “teams have exhausted all options and resources. Before canceling around 90 flights for Friday.” 

So far, no there are no Delta cancellations in St. Louis. Though one flight to Atlanta is delayed. 

COVID did not detour travelers from catching flights at St. Louis lambert international airport on Thursday. It was one of the busiest travel days of the year. 

Airport officials say passenger numbers were higher than they projected — somewhere between 35,000-36,000 passengers. 

United also said in a statement that it is notifying impacted passengers before they get to the airport, Delta also said it’s working to get its passengers “as quickly and as safely as possible on the next available flight.

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