Hundreds more flight cancellations set for Monday as staffing problems stretch past Christmas

Local News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — As airlines canceled more than 1,000 flights across the U.S. this Christmas weekend, things went smoothly — for the most part — Sunday at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Across the country, flight-tracking website FlightAware showed more than 1,300 cancellations. RDU saw six cancellations – two of which were on JetBlue.

The problems stem from the recent spike in COVID-19 – with quarantines and cases among flight crews prompting some schedule disruptions.

And they come at a time when the virus is once again interrupting holiday plans – from travel to family gatherings and vacations.

Angela and Joel Gibbs, from Statesville, were glad to have a smooth flight into North Carolina Sunday evening.

But that’s after a vacation that was entirely disappointing. They went on a Caribbean cruise and told CBS 17, an outbreak onboard confined them to their cabins.

“It started at 19 (cases) and then it jumped to 32,” Angela Gibbs said. “We were going to go so many places and then they didn’t let us off the ship — and those ships aren’t that big once you’ve been on a few days!”

Others CBS 17 encountered Sunday at RDU were pleased – if relieved – for a smooth travel day.

“I kept checking the app and everything said it was on time,” said Tia, who was visiting from New York.

“Not too crowded,” Mitch Poksa, visiting from Miami, said of conditions at RDU airport.

According to FlightAware, airlines already have hundreds of cancellations set for Monday, nationwide.

Given the problems – and the volume this holiday week – the TSA suggests arriving at the airport two hours ahead for domestic flights.

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