2018 has been a rollercoaster year for air travel. The industry was in desperate need of change, but it may not have changed at all. With the new changes happening on this day, what’s to come?

The “american airlines flights cancelled today” is a problem that has been present for a while. American Airlines have had to cancel their flights due to the lack of employees.

U.S. Air Travel Melts Down On New Year's As Employees Call In Sick

As employees call in sick, air travel in the United States slows down on New Year’s Day.

on January 1, 2022 by Gary Leff

Over the holidays, United and Delta began to shut down their operations. United had tempted destiny by declaring that this would not happen, that they were better at their job than their rivals. There might have been an element of schadenfreude if this hadn’t disrupted people’s plans throughout the nation.

A spike in sick call outs as a result of Covid-19 was part of the issue. Employees were advised to assume Covid if they weren’t feeling well.

Initially, American Airlines skirted the issue by rewarding flight attendants and other employees up to three times their regular salary for perfect attendance. Bonuses handed out by American, Southwest, and JetBlue, I claimed, might put pressure on contagious workers to come to work. I’ve received multiple complaints from cabin personnel that this is precisely what happened. Calling in ill at American might cost a flight attendant the equivalent of three months’ income, which they’re on the verge of receiving. However, American was unable to reach an agreement with its pilots for additional compensation for holiday attendance.

With United’s cancellations persisting, the airline is turning to American’s playbook, offering treble pay to pilots in response to “record amounts of sick calls” in order to entice them to take open flights.

Employees who wish to take time off phone in more often over the holidays, but high numbers of call outs compared to regular holidays in the context of extraordinary viral transmission implies something else. Covid-19, according to United’s pilots’ union, is to blame for the necessity for triple pay:

In a staff letter obtained by CNBC on Friday, Bryan Quigley, United’s senior vice president of flight operations, stated the company and the pilots’ union, the Air Line Pilots Association, had achieved an agreement for additional compensation to cover open flights.

Pilots will be paid three-and-a-half times their normal pay if they fly open flights between December 30 and January 3, and triple pay if they take up excursions between January 4 and January 29, according to the memo.

“We are now experiencing record volumes of pilot sick calls due to the fast spread of the COVID Omicron strain,” the pilots’ union wrote to its members. “The effect on the operation is apparent, and United has had a proportionally high number of cancellations during the last week.”

Spirit Airlines, however, has increased Covid compensation for flight attendants until January 4.

However, even airlines that were giving incentives are suddenly seeing cancellations. As of 7 a.m. Eastern, here’s how New Year’s Day looks:


Despite incentives for staff to show up, airline cancellations are rampant at this time, and they’re already expanding into Sunday and even Monday. Some may arrive unwell, while others may call in sick for the normal New Year’s reasons (with Covid implying that there aren’t enough backup staff to cover those shifts). The disruption to schedules is exacerbated by the fact that aircraft and crews end up out of position, which takes time for airlines to recover from. Meanwhile, although it’s conceivable that Omicron may spread so quickly in certain areas that it will reach a peak soon, the number of individuals unable to work looks to be increasing.

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