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Hits keep coming: More than 1,150 flights canceled today

Jan. 09, 2022
3 min read
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 04: Snow plows move snow as a JetBlue airplane waits outside terminal five at John F. Kennedy International Airport on January 4, 2018 in the Queens borough of New York City. A winter storm is traveling up the east coast of the United States dumping snow and creating blizzard like conditions in many areas. (Photo by Rebecca Butala How/Getty Images)
Hits keep coming: More than 1,150 flights canceled today
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Another day, another series of cancellations and delays for the airlines.

As we've been reporting, airlines across the board have been suffering operational problems for weeks now including the busy holiday period. It was hoped once January was underway and demand slowed down that the airlines would be able to get to some semblance of normalcy. So far, that hasn't happened.

Airlines had already canceled more than 1,150 flights in the U.S. on Sunday by noon.

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(Screenshot courtesy FlightAware)

Of the major domestic carriers, Alaska Airlines is having the most trouble today with 12% of its flights canceled. United cut 8% of its flights and another 5% are delayed. Southwest is still struggling to recover after a series of bad days, cutting more than 230 flights today - around 6% of its flights. Southwest has delayed another 8% of its schedule. Frontier has cut 5%, regional carriers SkyWest, Republic and Mesa have cut between 5-17% of their schedules.

American Airlines is faring better Sunday with only 58 flights or 2% of its schedule slashed.

Better news from Delta Air Lines which has only canceled six flights Sunday.

Denver International Airport hit hard today with 13% of its flights canceled.

Related: Here's what to do if your flight is delayed or canceled

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The omicron variant of COVID-19 has devastated airline operations and airline schedules for more than two weeks now. Airlines simply don't have enough staff to operate all their flights because of sick calls. A few major snowstorms haven't helped matters.

Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst and president of Atmosphere Research, told TPG that COVID-19 was causing staff shortages at every airline and at every airport. "Obviously many cancellations occur at the last minute when a crew member is unable to work ... airlines have done the best they can to cope with a situation that isn't just fluid, but chaotic."

Related: 6 real-life strategies to use if your flight is canceled

Several airlines have preemptively cut their schedules back significantly. As we reported yesterday, Alaska cut 10% of its flights for January in an attempt to restore regular operations. JetBlue had previously announced similar measures.

Related: 1 in 13 flights was canceled during the holidays

The airlines are doing better this weekend than they did last week. Friday, airlines canceled more than 2,600 flights as a snowstorm hit the Northeast.

Harteveldt also told me the airlines were doing the best they could considering we are in the middle of an ever-changing pandemic:

"This is so frustrating for airline managers, airline employees and for travelers. Everyone is eagerly awaiting to see the broader number of case counts and start to see verifiable good news that allows us to confirm the omicron variant peak has been reached and has passed. But this isn't a situation the airlines can control."

Related: Delta doles out SkyMiles for canceled holiday flights; United and others remain silent

Data from Cirium and FlightAware. (Image by Bill Harkins/The Points Guy)

A TPG analysis found that one in 13 flights over the holidays was canceled. Still, 92% of scheduled flights did operate. How's that for a "silver lining"?

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
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    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

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    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • 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.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.