A nightmare scenario for families hoping to be together for Christmas is unfolding all over the country, thanks to hundreds of flights being canceled and over a thousand delayed on Christmas Eve. 

The problem is finding enough pilots, flight attendants, and other key airline and airport employees because many have recently tested positive for COVID. 

United Airlines said they had to cancel 176 flights on Friday.

Delta put the kibosh on 147.  

Major airlines were spending part of their day Friday making calls to passengers to let them know before they embarked on a trip to the airport where they could be stranded. 

Here’s part of a statement from United Airlines. 

“The nationwide spike in Omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation. As a result, we’ve unfortunately had to cancel some flights and are notifying impacted customers in advance of them coming to the airport.”

It’s been a frustrating day for many passengers on Christmas Eve, with reports saying some people were sitting on airplanes for hours, not moving, waiting for any sort of update. 

The Washington Post said more than 20% of all flights canceled on Friday involved flights within, into, or out of the United States. 

Delta blamed lousy weather and Omicron for the cancellation of their flights.  

Many frustrated passengers forced to miss a family celebration or instead drive multiple hours vented their frustration on social media.  Here’s one tweet by someone affected. 

“Hey Delta let’s clean it up here for the holidays huh! Changed my initial flight by adding not 1 but 2 stops. So I change flight completely, now it’s an hour delayed and I’ll be missing my connector. Missing 2 days with the fam.”

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