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Another 2,600 U.S. flights canceled due to COVID, bad weather

  • MICHAEL PEREZ / AP
                                Katelyn Darrow gets some work done on her laptop as she waits to board her flight at the Philadelphia International Airport Friday, Dec. 31, in Philadelphia.

    MICHAEL PEREZ / AP

    Katelyn Darrow gets some work done on her laptop as she waits to board her flight at the Philadelphia International Airport Friday, Dec. 31, in Philadelphia.

More than 2,600 flights into and out of the U.S. were canceled Saturday, and more than 4,000 were delayed, according to the tracking firm FlightAware.com, amid bad weather and staff shortages caused by the rapid spread of the omicron variant.

Southwest Airlines Co. canceled 472 flights and delayed another 798 — a third of all its scheduled trips; while regional carrier SkyWest Inc. canceled 479 flights and delayed another 406, more than 44% of all its scheduled flights.

Among the bigger national carriers, Delta Air Lines Inc. cut 10% of its flights while American Airlines Group Inc. and United Airlines Holdings Inc. each scrubbed 7%, according to the site.

Some 1,050 flights into or out of the U.S. have already been canceled for Sunday and 202 scrubbed for Monday, FlightAware said. A heavy snow storm across large parts of the country is expected to cause major travel disruptions, according to the National Weather Service.

With the U.S. hitting record infections, the holiday travel season has been snarled by about 12,000 canceled flights since Christmas Eve, according to the Associated Press.

Some of the biggest trouble spots for travelers were in the Midwest, where 55% of flights scheduled to leave from Chicago Midway and 45% from Chicago O’Hare were scratched, according to FlightAware. Airports in Denver, Kansas City and Detroit also saw a high number of cancellations and delays.

The Transportation Security Administration, which has been grappling with unruly passengers, urged people to “be patient.” Security screened more than 1.6 million people yesterday at checkpoints around the country, it said.

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