Airlines, Airports Fumble the Holiday Season 

Alaska, Delta, Hawaiian, United, and Southwest airlines experienced major staffing shortages and widespread cancellations before and after the holidays. As of 8:00 p.m. PST on Thursday, Dec. 30, nearly 7,800 flights within, into, or out of the United States were delayed and more than 1,400 were canceled outright. In a statement, Alaska Air urged flyers to delay travel until after the New Year, if possible, as these cancellations will likely continue.  

On Jan. 2, there were more than 2,500 flights within, out of, or into the U.S. that were canceled, and over 6,800 U.S.-bound flights that were delayed. You can see the worst airports at any given time on the Misery Map.  

Luckily for MidValley residents, Eugene Airport assistant director Andrew Martz told KLCC that “the majority of our flights are operating and our runways are clear.”   

Pilot shortages predate the pandemic. When airlines significantly reduced operations in response to travel restrictions, leading many pilots to retire while others were laid off.  Now in a move that also predates the pandemic the Federal Aviation Administration is authorizing pilot programs to reduce the number of hours of flying time required for certification.   

Visit FlightAware for live statistics about cancellations and delays.   

By Grace Miller