© Reuters. People line up for the COVID-19 test in Times Square as the Omicron coronavirus continues to spread in Manhattan, New York City, US, December 26, 2021. REUTERS / Andrew Kelly
Author Humeyra Pamuk and Gabriella Borter
WASHINGTON / NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. planes suspended about 1,200 flights Sunday as COVID-19 reduced its crew, while several ships had to stop after an accident, raising plans for thousands of people.
Commercial flights suspended 1,171 flights within, on or off the United States during the day, according to a report on the FlightAware.com website.
At least three submarines were forced to return to the port without a call made after the COVID-19 case was discovered, according to several media reports.
Enjoli Rodriguez, 25, whose Delta Air Lines Inc (NYSE 🙂 flight from Los Angeles to Lexington, Kentucky, was canceled over Christmas, was one of thousands who crashed Sunday.
Delta repatriated Rodriguez on an evening flight to Detroit, but the flight was delayed by hours so they missed contact with Lexington.
Speaking from Detroit airport on Sunday, Rodriguez said he was surrounded by angry passengers, runners-up pilots and families with small children.
“I’ve met a lot of people sharing their scary stories here. We’ve all settled in Michigan, Detroit, going to different places,” Rodriguez, who was detained on another trip to Kentucky, told Reuters.
It was the third straight day of suffering for Americans traveling at the end of a vacation.
On Christmas day, all 997 visits were canceled and about 700 at Christmas. Thousands more were delayed all three days.
The Christmas holiday, the longest travel season, coincides with the rapid spread of Omicron species across the country.
With a growing number of diseases, pilots are forced to suspend flights with pilots and cabinet staff who need to be isolated.
Bad weather in some areas also increases the risk for travelers.
A Delta spokesman said “winter in some parts of the U.S. and the Omicron nation continues to affect” its holiday travel time but is striving to “rehabilitate and change planes and staff to find customers where they need to do as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
Individually, a spokesman for Southwest Airlines (NYSE 🙂 said all of their bans were weather-related.
Everywhere, the most affected US airports were in Seattle, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth and JFK International in New York.
United Airlines said it was due to suspend about 100 flights on Sunday but was working to rehabilitate those affected.
A White House official, who asked not to be named, said that despite the turmoil at airports, “we are in a better position than last Christmas” and said “only a few flights are affected.”
Globally, FlightAware data has shown that 2,824 flights have been suspended and more than 12,497 flights delayed, starting at 6 pm EST (2200 GMT) on Sunday.
VESSELS COMING BACK
Meanwhile, a Royal Caribbean (NYSE 🙂 The Cruises Ltd submarine returned to Ft. Lauderdale, CNN reported, and on Sunday the Carnival submarine (NYSE 🙂 Corp) returned to Miami after positive coronavirus cases were discovered.
It was not immediately clear if the charges were different from Omicron.
Carnival said “the few passengers were separated because of the COVID test” after boarding the Carnival Freedom steamer which returned to Miami and departed on Sunday for the next voyage with other passengers.
“The rapid expansion of the Omicron Variant could make it possible for some low-income medical authorities to see even the smallest cases, even if they are driven by our strong policies.
The Holland American ship returned to San Diego on Sunday after Mexican authorities banned it from stopping in Puerto Vallarta in connection with the crash, NBC News and Fox News reported. Carnival, who owns Holland America, did not respond to comments in his own words.
Royal Caribbean representatives did not return a request for comment.
Omicron was first detected in November and now accounts for about three-quarters of U.S. cases and about 90% elsewhere, such as Eastern Seaboard. The number of new U.S. coronavirus cases increased by 45% to 179,000 per day last week, according to Reuters.
Although recent research shows that Omicron produces less and less hospitalized diseases than it has in the past, health officials remain vigilant and say there is still much to learn from this change.