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Travel Woes Worsen, Around 175 Flights Canceled At JFK, LaGuardia, Newark Airports Sunday

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Sunday was another busy day at area airports, where thousands of travelers came and went this holiday weekend.

As CBS2's Kevin Rincon reported, many passengers were greeted again with delays and cancellations.

The monitoring website FlightAware has been tracking the numbers. At least 68 flights were canceled at Newark Liberty International Airport. John F. Kennedy International Airport had 73 cancellations, and there was another 33 flights called off at LaGuardia Airport.

Airlines have been struggling to handle the increase in air traffic, coupled with the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases.

COVID VACCINE

Passengers said they felt the pressure of traveling during yet another wave of coronavirus cases.

One man and his girlfriend flew in from Phoenix. They were planning to go to JFK, but their flight was delayed in Salt Lake City.

"It is really, really stressful," Christian Klein said. "We actually lucked out. We walked by this flight and said, 'Hey, can we hop on?' And we ended up here in Newark."

Their travels started nearly a day ago, and it wasn't ending in Newark. They said they were to take a car to see family in Connecticut.

Swani Schobert and her son from Stratford, Connecticut said they were planning to navigate their way to Germany.

"You definitely have to look for more things, do you need tests, do you need to be vaccinated, both or nothing. If you stop in another country, then the destination, what are there rules? It's very confusing, but we managed," Schobert said.

Nationally, United and Delta cancelled hundreds of flights over the holiday weekend. The airlines have been short staffed with COVID cases on the rise. They've offered employees all sorts of incentives to pick up extra shifts, on what's one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Back at Newark Liberty, looking at the arrivals and departures, if flights weren't cancelled, there's a chance they were delayed.

Antoinette Randolph and her family said, despite the issues, there was still a willingness to fly.

"We still gotta do it. We still can't just live our life in a nutshell. We all gotta work together to stay safe," Randolph said.

One thing travelers said is that they have felt safe with all the added precautions in place. That said, it will take time before we see things improve in terms of delays and cancellations, as more people either continue to try and see family during the holidays, or try to get back for work.

CBS2's Kevin Rincon contributed to this report. Editor's note: This story was first published Dec. 26.

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