United Airlines and Delta Air Lines announced Thursday that they were forced to cancel Christmas Eve flights.
In a statement, United blamed the cancellations on staffing shortages due to COVID-19.
“The nationwide spike in Omicron cases this week has had a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation,” the statement said. “As a result, we’ve unfortunately had to cancel some flights."
United said it's notifying customers in advance of them arriving at the airport. The airline added that it is working to rebook as many passengers as possible.
Of the 14 flights scheduled for Friday, two have been canceled, and both involve Chicago O'Hare: arrival at 11:30 a.m. and depatture at 12:30 p.m., according to Flight Radar. All seven departures remain scheduled.
No Delta flights to or from PBIA have been canceled.
A spokesperson for Delta also said COVID-19 is causing staffing shortages, but added that potential weather problems are also to blame.
The cancellations couldn't come at a worse time. Millions of people are expected to travel for the holidays.