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Delta finds itself in the middle of holiday havoc again with hundreds of flight cancellations

Dec. 25, 2020
2 min read
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Delta finds itself in the middle of holiday havoc again with hundreds of flight cancellations
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Bad weather and staffing shortages have forced Delta Air Lines to cancel hundreds of flights on and before Christmas, The Washington Post reported. It's an unfortunate repeat of the Thanksgiving holiday period, when Delta canceled approximately 500 flights.

The latest flurry of cancellations began on Wednesday, when Delta canceled hundreds of flights in anticipation of a winter storm that pummeled its hub in Minneapolis. The latest round of cancellations — about 100 flights on Christmas Day — is being attributed to pilot scarcity.

On social media, travelers described being bumped from multiple flights and lengthy, hours-long wait times for customer service.

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Last month, Delta spokesperson Anthony Black told TPG a number of factors had "pressured [Delta's] ability to timely staff several dozen scheduled flights. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our customers." He issued a similar response to The Washington Post in regards to the Christmastime cancellations.

In addition to having to rebook all those people whose flights were canceled due to the snowstorm in the Twin Cities that dumped nearly 9 inches at Minneapolis-St. Paul International (MSP), Delta has been dealing with the ongoing pilot shortage caused by the pandemic.

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Delta Air Lines First Officer Chris Riggins told TPG in November that the airline is dealing with a shortage of pilots for certain types of aircraft, caused by cutbacks earlier in the year.

Riggins said there's “a smaller pool of pilots qualified and ready to fly in the fleets that are seeing an increased demand over this holiday," adding that, “.. cancellations would indicate that there aren’t enough crews available to cover all the demand.”

A scheduler with 20 years of experience also told TPG last month that scheduling problems are always an issue during the holidays. But added flights to accommodate the spike in demand — despite pleas from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for travelers to stay home — and COVID-19 restrictions, could all play a role in the cancellations, among other factors. After all, Delta has committed to keeping middle seats blocked through March 2021, meaning there are fewer seats for passengers on available aircraft.

Featured image by Delta jets on the move in Minneapolis (Photo by Darren Murph / The Points Guy)

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  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
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Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

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  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023