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Surge In Omicron Cases Force Cancelation Of Hundreds Of Flights In South Florida, Around US

MIAMI (CBSMiami - Heading to the airport? Make sure you check the status of your flight and arrive early. Major airlines are canceling flights due to the surge in Omicron cases.

At Miami International Airport, the 'hustle and bustle' is in full swing.

"I've come up here to check-in and I see a thousand people," said Steve Enrico-Campbell.

"It's Christmas Eve, you already know the chaos is about to begin," said Joshua C, who's traveling to the Virgin Islands.

The chaos, starting early for some.

"It's terrible. I want to cry. I want to cry," said Milady Bartolovich, who's trying to get back to Madrid for the holidays. "They canceled the flight yesterday to Madrid. I've been here waiting for 10 hours for the next flight."

Delta and United Airlines were forced to cancel hundreds of flights this Christmas Eve.

"Delta teams have exhausted all options and resources -- including rerouting and substitutions of aircraft and crews to cover scheduled flying -- before canceling around 135 flights for Friday. We apologize to our customers for the delay in their holiday travel plans. Delta people are working hard to get them to where they need to be as quickly and as safely as possible on the next available flight. Customers are encouraged to check or the Fly Delta app for updates related to their specific flight," said Delta in a statement.

The airlines said their crews were directly impacted by the Omicron variant.

"I only hope that everybody has the opportunity to get home like I did because it's been three days since I've been trying to get back to the Virgin Islands," says Joshua C.

Travelers we talked to said they weighed the risks of holiday travel in light of Omicron. Still, the majority of them, making the decision to head home for Christmas.

"I thought it would be empty but I've come in here now and there are tons of people," said Steve Enrico-Campbell, who's traveling to Jamaica.

Masked up, rescheduling flights, and waiting in long lines, travelers are still in the holiday spirit, ready to get home for Christmas.

"Merry Christmas and a happy new year when it comes," said Enrico-Campbell.

If you need to cancel or move your flight, keep in mind, major airlines eliminated change fees earlier on in the pandemic. You shouldn't face any penalties or changes and on most airlines, you'll be able to keep your credit if you have to cancel.

If you're flying out today, give yourself some extra time. The hustle and bustle won't be slowing down anytime soon.

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