Holiday travel nightmares begin to slow down

After nearly 20,000 flights were canceled since Christmas Eve, airline carriers have begun to adjust their schedules to accommodate customers and employees. 

According to a New York Post report, holiday flight cancellations have slowed from a rate of over 1,000 each day between Christmas Eve and Jan. 9 to 700 cancellations on Jan. 10. 

Flight cancellations have begun to slow down since the holidays, ending a 15-day streak of more than 1,000 flights getting canceled daily on Monday, Jan 10. 

Omicron cases surging, harsh winter storms and vaccine mandates among airline companies have all contributed to crew shortages resulting in thousands of flight cancellations nationwide.

Data from John Hopkins University found that the seven-day-average for new cases reached over 700,000 and at least 40 states have hit record level case numbers.  

Winter storms earlier in January have played an additional role in numerous flights getting canceled. The storms across the East Coast have disrupted travel from prominent airports in Washington D.C. and New York.

More than one million people lost power due to the storms in Washington D.C. Many schools and government offices closed due to the severe weather warning. 

In addition to COVID-19 and storms, the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate went into effect on Jan. 10 — resulting in companies with more than 100 employees having to ensure that their employees become vaccinated. 

United Airlines announced in September that nearly 600 employees would face termination if they would not comply with the vaccine mandate. 

United has had some of the strictest vaccine mandates for its workers, some mandates began for the company in August. 

Other airlines like JetBlue and Alaska told their employees that they must be vaccinated by Dec. 8.  American Airlines pushed their mandate back until Jan. 4 after President Joe Biden postponed the vaccine mandate deadline. 

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Jan. 7 regarding the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate but some states are unsure whether to comply with the federal government’s mandate or wait for the Court to make a decision. 

Article by: Lexi Hamel