Christmas traveling by air was difficult in the U.S. and worldwide

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Christmas holiday plans to travel were altered, tens of thousands people being affected, in the US and worldwide. Some families were kept apart, with empty chairs at dinner tables. More than 920 U.S. flights were canceled Saturday and more than 1,200 others were delayed. U.S. airlines also already have canceled more than 220 total flights scheduled for Sunday due to lack of crew members because many are infected with COVID-19. The highly transmissible variant is driving higher case numbers. As of Saturday, the omicron variant accounted for 73.2% of new COVID-19 infections in the nation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. States including Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York have reported a record number of cases. Bad weather in some areas also contributed to make difficult to travel on Christmas. United and Delta announced most cancellations. “A combination of issues, including but not limited to inclement weather in some areas of the country and the impact of the omicron variant, are driving cancellations and potential delays,” Delta said.

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“The nationwide spike in Omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation. As a result, we’ve unfortunately had to cancel some flights and are notifying impacted customers in advance of them coming to the airport,” United also declared. Some passengers but not all whose flights were canceled were rebooked. Nearly 2,800 flights were scrubbed around the globe on Saturday and more than 1,100 Sunday.