Flight cancellations in the US have hit a new peak in a Christmas season hit hard by the Covid pandemic and bad weather.
Nearly 4,400 flights around the world were canceled on Saturday, more than 2,500 of them in the US, air traffic site FlightAware reported.
Airlines have been struggling with staffing problems with crew quarantining after contracting Covid.
Adding to travelers’ woes, heavy snow has hit the central US.
From the US cancellations, more than 1,000 are from Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports.
“Today’s flight cancellations are driven by Omicron staffing and weather-related issues. We did pre-cancel flights in anticipation of inclement weather. We’ve been contacting passengers early if their flights are canceled to give them time to rebook or make other plans,” United Airlines said in a statement.
Sunday, when many people often return home from their Christmas holidays, is likely to bring further disruption, with more snow and heavy winds forecast.
“It’s too long and there’s no space to spend the time, get something to eat, it’s a long time here,” one traveler stuck at O’Hara airport told ABC News in Chicago.