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Holiday Travelers Get Hit With More COVID-Related Flight Cancelations

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Holiday travelers were hit with more COVID-related flight cancelations on Sunday, the third-consecutive day where at least 100 flights were canceled

Listed as one of the busiest days of the year by LAX officials - the airport was predicted to get over 200,000 travelers on Sunday alone.

Thousands of flights were canceled nationwide, starting on Christmas Eve when nearly 200 flights were canceled. Over 125 flights to and from the Los Angeles International Airport were called off on Sunday, added to the 100-plus at LAX on Christmas Day, bringing weekend totals to astronomical numbers unlike anything officials have seen. More flights were canceled throughout the day as staffing shortages related to COVID-19 continued.

Delta and United flights have been the hardest hit, becoming the first two airlines to issues statements to the public about their current state of affairs.

On Saturday, Delta, United and JetBlue had to cancel more than 750 flights.

While the cancelations are expected to continue for days to come, many travelers are pretty upset about the sudden change in their flight plans.

"They canceled our flight. We had a cruise lined up and unfortunately we had to book a new flight that was much more expensive than the last one," said one traveler.

These frustrations come piled on top of the more traditional issues that arise when traveling - like long lines, crowded public spaces and time crunches. Not to mention the new norm in 2021, mandatory masks.

For Sheforen Span, his holiday travel was the opposite of joyous. "Man, it was rough. Just squeezing through everybody, and then all the people at the front were busy. Not enough heads; not enough workers - but a lot of travelers."

Other travelers were just grateful that their flights were scheduled to take off on time, but not getting too far ahead of themselves in case anything suddenly changed.

"We're an hour away and our flight's still fine. So, hopefully nothing changes before then," said Angela Thomas, another passenger being cautiously optimistic about being one of the few to catch a scheduled flight without any extra baggage attached.

Already, airlines have canceled over 50 flights on Monday, December 27, a number that is expected to shoot sky-high, unlike many of the planes stuck on the ground at LAX, and other airports all over the world.

Nationwide, nearly 2,000 flights have been canceled in recent days due to COVID-related staffing shortages. Worldwide, that number is more than doubled.

Airline officials expect that the number of travelers will still be high, with the next substantial day of travel predicted for January 2, the day after everyone is set to ring in the New Year.

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