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Airlines cancel thousands of holiday weekend flights, blaming Omicron

Travelers were left relating to the lyrics of the saddest Christmas song — "I'll Be Home for Christmas (If Only in My Dreams)" — due to thousands of canceled flights going into the holiday weekend.

Airlines canceled more than 2,000 flights globally on Thursday, with another 3,000 canceled on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, The Washington Post reports.

United Airlines, which canceled over 160 flights on Friday, blamed the surge of COVID-19 cases linked to the Omicron variant, saying the outbreak had "a direct impact on our flight crews and the people who run our operation." Delta, which canceled over 120 flights on Christmas Eve according to CNN's Pete Muntean, also blamed staffing shortages as well as weather.

JetBlue, Allegiant, Lufthansa, and Alaska Airlines likewise reported cancellations over the holiday weekend; as of Friday morning, American Airlines said it had no planned cancellations, The New York Times reports.