Rising COVID-19 cases, along withbad weather, caused airlines to cancel more than 1,000 flights on Monday, and the spread of the Omicron variant prompted the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert to suggest the government consider mandating vaccines for domestic flights.
Monday’s travel woes marked a fourth day of flight cancellations, capping a glum Christmas weekend for thousands of passengers who were left waiting in airport queues and on customer service phone lines to re-book flights.
Airlines have struggled with staffing shortages as the spread of infections blamed on the Omicron variant forced many pilots, cabin crew and other workers to isolate at home.
Winter storms also took a toll on travel. On Monday, airlines canceled more than 1,300 commercial flights within or into and out of the United States. Travel-related stocks fell.