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900 Flights Cancelled Due to Omicron?? Why???

900 Flights Cancelled Due to Omicron?? Why???

Old Dec 25, 21, 5:42 pm
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900 Flights Cancelled Due to Omicron?? Why???

900 Flights Cancelled Due to Omicron??? Why?? As the South African doctor who discovered it said (and as evidence from Israel, the UK, etc. show), Omicron is mild.

Why are so many flights being cancelled, then????
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Old Dec 25, 21, 5:51 pm
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Due to processes in place that require anyone who tests positive to quarrantine for 10 days and then have a negative test.

This is why the airline industry is petitioning to reduce the 10-day period. The medical community just got an exemption to reduce that period.
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Old Dec 25, 21, 7:24 pm
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Originally Posted by John Anderson L. View Post
900 Flights Cancelled Due to Omicron??? Why?? As the South African doctor who discovered it said (and as evidence from Israel, the UK, etc. show), Omicron is mild.

Why are so many flights being cancelled, then????
Originally Posted by wharvey View Post
Due to processes in place that require anyone who tests positive to quarrantine for 10 days and then have a negative test.

This is why the airline industry is petitioning to reduce the 10-day period. The medical community just got an exemption to reduce that period.
To amplify what wharvey is saying, here's what two United pilots posted over in the UA Forum about United's quarantining processes and its impacts specifically now during Christmas:

Originally Posted by clubord View Post
Heres my experience which many of my fellow crew members fell into this week as this variant flared up.

There is required testing for numerous international flights prior to departure (which most likely explains why DL and UA are affected the most.) I tested COVID positive with absolutely no symptoms three hours before departure. Subsequently got pulled off the trip and was told to quarantine and stay away for a minimum of 10 days. A reserve pilot was called to fill my spot on 764 trip.

Most of our reserves got their days off rolled to cover the holidays but are now subject to mandated rest requirements which are now falling on 24-28th of this month.

Looking at open time this morning, Ive never seen so many trips at 200% in my 15+ years at the airline. Theres just no one available to fly these trips considering such a large segment of the crew population is a pumpkin for at least 10 days.

Im sorry to all those passengers stranded because of the cancellations. Im also sorry to my fellow crew members that are quarantined and missing Christmas with their families.
Originally Posted by LarryJ View Post
As ClubORD said, the required pre-testing for a long list of international destinations is likely hitting us, and Delta, harder than AA, B6, etc. when asymptomatic crewmembers test positive.

Also, it's not just positive tests. We are required to report any COVID-like symptoms (fever, cough, congestion, fatigue, etc.) and that report will ground us for at least ten days even if we subsequently test negative. I think a negative test followed by a doctor's report that you are COVID free can get you back to work sooner but the process still takes a few days. December always brings more colds and flu and Thanksgiving gatherings likely increased the rate of spread of COVID and non-COVID illnesses. Now Omicron is spreading even quickly than previous strains.

I've reported symptoms twice, though have never had COVID, and was grounded for 10 days each time. The first time was during my requalification training, so I didn't miss any trips. The second was a cold that resulted in me missing a four-day trip but the cold symptoms alone would have kept me from flying that trip even if there were no COVID restrictions.
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Old Dec 25, 21, 8:42 pm
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Originally Posted by wharvey View Post
Due to processes in place that require anyone who tests positive to quarrantine for 10 days and then have a negative test.

This is why the airline industry is petitioning to reduce the 10-day period. The medical community just got an exemption to reduce that period.
It makes sense for the medical community--they'll be wearing properly-fit N95s and a hospital is far more essential than an airplane. The hospitals are already being pushed to far below normal safe staffing levels.
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Old Dec 26, 21, 5:20 am
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Originally Posted by John Anderson L. View Post
900 Flights Cancelled Due to Omicron??? Why?? As the South African doctor who discovered it said (and as evidence from Israel, the UK, etc. show), Omicron is mild.

Why are so many flights being cancelled, then????
It may be mild but it is much more infectious which is the issue. It's not mild enough yet where you want everyone to get it at this time.
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Old Dec 26, 21, 11:55 am
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Originally Posted by John Anderson L. View Post
900 Flights Cancelled Due to Omicron??? Why?? As the South African doctor who discovered it said (and as evidence from Israel, the UK, etc. show), Omicron is mild.

Why are so many flights being cancelled, then????
Can you be a bit more specific here? I have no sense of the scope of your statement - are you referring to flights originating or departing from South Africa? The mention of United in the second reply also makes me think it's possible you're referring to US domestic flights (900 would be a drop in the bucket globally), but then you use the spelling of "cancelled" that is more common in British English than in American English...
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Old Dec 26, 21, 12:56 pm
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Old Dec 26, 21, 2:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Cryofern View Post
Can you be a bit more specific here?
They are referring to this...

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-59793040

Tens of thousands of airline passengers have been hit by the grounding of thousands of flights as a surge in Covid cases causes staff shortages.

More than 7,500 flights have now been cancelled since Friday and over the Christmas weekend, according to the FlightAware data tracking website.

Chinese and US airlines appear to be the hardest hit, with further delays and cancellations announced for Monday.

Companies say the cancellations are due to airline crews testing positive.

Staff who have not tested positive but have been in contact with those infected are then being forced to self-isolate.
(Emphasis added by me)
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Old Dec 26, 21, 5:01 pm
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Originally Posted by Repooc17 View Post
Wat?

Are you saying virus attacks differently in the US than in other countries?
Re-read my post. Then read this lay article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...h-africa-mild/

The point being is that the variant appears to be mild for those who have been vaccinated or previously contracted COVID. There is little data on those who have contracted the variant but have not been vaccinated or previously contracted COVID.
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Old Dec 26, 21, 6:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
It makes sense for the medical community--they'll be wearing properly-fit N95s and a hospital is far more essential than an airplane. The hospitals are already being pushed to far below normal safe staffing levels.
While hospitals are more important for the direct service of healthcare, airplanes are pretty essential. Remember that the passenger airlines carry a massive amount of cargo in their bellies and that cargo isn't getting carried if the flight is cancelled.
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Old Dec 26, 21, 7:14 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyingUnderTheRadar View Post
Re-read my post. Then read this lay article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...h-africa-mild/

The point being is that the variant appears to be mild for those who have been vaccinated or previously contracted COVID. There is little data on those who have contracted the variant but have not been vaccinated or previously contracted COVID.
Another factor pointed out by WaPo and other sources is the relatively young population of South Africa where the median age is 28 which is a full decade lower than that in the US.

As far as I understand the main reasons for a large number of flight cancellations are staff shortages due to the spread of Coronavirus and winter weather conditions in some parts of the US.

More than 5,000 flights have been canceled worldwide this Christmas weekend [NPR]


/mod hat on

Whether the Omicron variant is mild or not is off-topic for this thread.

/mod hat offf
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Last edited by NewbieRunner; Dec 26, 21 at 7:28 pm
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Old Dec 27, 21, 2:19 am
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I'm wondering how long will it take until quarantines upon positive test are removed. I originally expected that to only happen after COVID becomes endemic, but it's getting unsustainable at the moment. UK will soon have a million people in quarantine at a time (they are currently at 120k+ infections per day) even though most of them are fine and ready to work.

I think the moment when only ill people are going to stay at home, just like with other respiratory viruses, may be closer than I expected.

I have just completed my 7 days isolation yesterday and it's been a bit of a joke. There was only one evening when I actually needed to be in bed, then maybe 2 or 3 days when I had some symptoms but was fully functional otherwise. This was the second time I had COVID and having to stay at home was the only really bad part of the experience in both cases.

Originally Posted by NewbieRunner View Post
Another factor pointed out by WaPo and other sources is the relatively young population of South Africa where the median age is 28 which is a full decade lower than that in the US.
That's true but I don't think South Africa's population got significantly younger in the last three months so we can compare data before and after omicron. Data from Europe also seem to confirm this narrative with disparity between infections and hospitalisations/deaths growing.
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Old Dec 27, 21, 8:47 am
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Originally Posted by John Anderson L. View Post
900 Flights Cancelled Due to Omicron??? Why?? As the South African doctor who discovered it said (and as evidence from Israel, the UK, etc. show), Omicron is mild.

Why are so many flights being cancelled, then????
The primary problem it would appear is flight and cabin crews testing positive and having to isolate. The other issue would be people cancelling their bookings because they aren't inclined to travel under the current circumstances and don't share your confidence in the opinions that Omicron is nothing to worry about.
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Old Dec 28, 21, 2:49 am
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I mustve missed the memo where airline staff are immune from catching this extremely infectious variant in a time when the booster shots arent yet widely distributed
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Old Dec 28, 21, 11:25 am
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My understanding is that at the airlines any time any crew member gets a sniffle, protocol demands they be tested and then prevented from working for 10 days (now changed to 5) if positive, even if asymptomatic. To me this says that some -- maybe even most -- of the current issue is imposed on the airlines by external forces.

Interesting that the FA unions opposed that recent change from 10 days to 5. The culture that signifies may or may not have any practical impact on the current situation... I'll leave it at that.
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