For going on three weeks now, the airline industry has been hit with a series of issues that have engendered massive groundings and delays of flights.
Some of the issues dealt with inclement weather. Other causes behind cancellations and delays were staffing shortages triggered by pilots and other airline workers calling in sick, claiming to have COVID.
Apparently, the air travel industry has struggled with scheduling flights without having enough staff on the beat in order to get people to where they need to be.
Airlines have done their best to attract more workers by raising their wages and offering bonuses for employees this month. However, this hasn’t made much of a difference; after all, airlines are still struggling.
Now, news has just come out that 3,000 employees of United Airlines reportedly have coronavirus, per Fox Business.
What’s Going on with United Airlines?
Scott Kirby, the CEO of United Airlines, recently announced about 33.3% of his staff called in sick from work at the Newark airport. The CEO also stated despite thousands of his workers being positive for COVID, none of them are hospitalized.
Kirby furthermore used the chance to boast about the company’s vaccination mandate. Vaccine mandates have become a subject of immense controversy in the United States.
We’re grateful for the patience you’ve shown as the Omicron surge impacts our operation. Read CEO Scott Kirby's letter to United employees with steps we're taking to care for our customers and our people: https://t.co/F8tFMXPP1q pic.twitter.com/TxvTHMdvLt
— United Airlines (@united) January 11, 2022
Since companies have faced staffing shortages, some people noted that if United and other airlines kept unvaccinated workers on the beat, they could have prevented the thousands of impacted flights from being delayed and cancelled over the past several weeks.
United Airlines has not provided an exact number of how many flights they’ll be forced to cancel, due to so many of their staff getting sick.
However, travelers who have flights with United that are no longer able to operate are being notified of the cancellations as soon as possible.
Tips for Travelers in the Near Future
Given the issues that United Airlines is facing with so many staffers off the beat, travelers may do well to arrange flights with other airlines.
At this time, all airlines continue to be impacted by delays and cancellations; however, United Airlines is bearing the brunt of this.
United cancelled my flight home, made me spend two days in Denver without offering to get me a hotel, told me I could fly to a place 3 hours from home and rent a car they wouldn’t pay for then tried putting us on a delta flight that was full
— Pat Burmeister (@burmeister34) January 8, 2022
On social media, United has been panned by customers for a lack of quality service with flight rebookings and substitutions for cancellations.
At this time, there’s no telling how long United Airlines will take to bounce back from having so many workers unable to come in all at the same time. Anyone planning to travel should therefore be mindful of this and make their arrangements accordingly.
What do you think about the massive rise in people testing positive for COVID, despite vaccinations? Let us know in the comments area what you suppose the future of air travel looks like.