Weather, omicron continue to plague air travel

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport reported more delays and cancellations than normal on Wednesday due to weather and staffing issues. STEVE SCHAEFER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

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Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport reported more delays and cancellations than normal on Wednesday due to weather and staffing issues. STEVE SCHAEFER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

Snowy weather in parts of the Midwest and western U.S. and COVID-19 related staff shortages continued to impact Atlanta air travelers Wednesday with dozens of flights canceled or delayed.

Delta Air Lines canceled 250 flights nationwide Wednesday, or 6% of its total, the same number as Tuesday. A total of 898 U.S. flights were canceled for all airlines, according to Houston-based aviation tracker FlightAware.

Airport-specific figures for Wednesday were not immediately available. But Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport had 38 flight cancellations Tuesday, higher than its 2021 daily average of 10, FlightAware said. An additional 443 Atlanta flights were delayed, higher than the 2021 daily average of 236.

Airlines have struggled to keep planes in the air during the holiday season this year with bad weather and a spike in omicron variant infections as the primary culprits. U.S. airlines canceled more than 2,800 flights over the Christmas holiday weekend.

Delta is rerouting and substituting both aircraft and crews to compensate for the cancellations and delays, the company said in a statement. Delta will issue travel waivers to passengers in Detroit and Salt Lake City because of projected weather delays.

Southwest Airlines, the second-largest carrier at Hartsfield-Jackson, did not cancel flights Wednesday, a spokeswoman said.

Hartsfield-Jackson projected a total of about 250,000 passengers would pass through the airport between Dec. 29 and Jan. 4, a spokeswoman said. All airport operations were normal Wednesday, including parking and the two automated people movers, Plane Train and ATL SkyTrain.