Air travel these days is a bit more unpredictable than many people would like for it to be. On December 23, 2021, word began to spread of multiple airlines canceling flights. The reason behind these cancellations is rumored to boil down to airline workers calling in sick with omicron.
The flight cancellations extended beyond Christmas Day and have carried into the New Year. Today alone, thousands of flights have gotten canceled; needless to say, travelers are getting annoyed, especially amid reports of problems with rebookings and refunds.
With 2022 officially in effect, airlines are now trying to proactively get ahead of flight cancellations. JetBlue announced it’s actually going to be slowing down the number of flights on its schedule until the middle of this month.
Meanwhile, other airlines are pursuing different steps to get flights up and running again.
A plan to stop flight cancellations in 2022
At this time, airline workers with Spirit and United are getting bonuses for working and taking on extra shifts. In the case of Spirit Airlines, staff will get twice their regular pay for work done between now and Tuesday, January 4.
Meanwhile, United Airlines is paying their pilots three times what they’d make for trips over the entire month of January 2022. The clear incentive with these notable pay raises is to get workers on the beat so that travelers are able to arrive at their intended destinations.
Flight cancellations remain especially problematic. They occurred during one of the busiest times of the year for holiday travel. Americans impacted by these cancellations remain understandably unhappy; meanwhile, other people with upcoming trips are wondering if their flights will suffer impacts.
New changes from the CDC
The adverse impacts on the airline industry made such a splash that even the CDC amended some of its guidelines. Previously, the CDC stated individuals who come into contact with COVID should undergo quarantine for ten days.
However, in lieu of so many airline workers being off the beat at the same time, the CDC changed the self-isolation period from ten days to five days. When questioned about the shift, the CDC director stated the organization views five days as more in keeping with measures that people are willing to follow.
Time will tell how this affects various airlines and subsequent flights.