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Canceled flights disrupt holiday travel

Travelers at the American Airlines check-in counter at Denver International Airport on Sunday. Associated Press/Photo by David Zalubowski

Canceled flights disrupt holiday travel

Many travelers found themselves stranded in airports over the weekend as one word repeatedly appeared on airport video screens—“canceled.” Airlines scrubbed more than 700 flights on Sunday as positive COVID-19 tests led to staffing shortages. And that came after more than a thousand cancellations on Christmas Day. Globally, airlines scrapped more than 5,000 flights over the weekend.

Will the cancellations continue? Canceled flights are likely to remain a problem this week. Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst with Atmosphere Research, said rising COVID-19 case numbers can be a rough predictor of air travel interruptions, since the sick are likely to include airline workers. New U.S. coronavirus infections, fueled mainly by the omicron variant, have exploded in recent weeks, with positive tests now topping 200,000 per day. But omicron appears to be less lethal than previous variants. COVID-19-related deaths have not risen significantly over the past month.

Dig deeper: Read Heather Frank’s explainer on the omicron coronavirus strain and its origin and impact.

Kent Covington

Kent is a reporter and news anchor for WORLD Radio. He spent nearly two decades in Christian and news/talk radio before joining WORLD in 2012. He resides in Atlanta, Ga.



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