Many travelers finding flights delayed, canceled as COVID-19 cases cause staffing concerns

ORLANDO, Fla. — Some travelers are scrambling to make new plans after several major airlines canceled dozens of flights across the United States, including at Orlando International Airport.

Those airlines said an uptick in COVID-19 cases is causing staffing concerns and leading to those cancellations.

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There wasn’t a long wait at in TSA lines at Orlando International Airport.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were not expected to be as busy as other travel days have been this holidays season.

If you’re planning on parking at the airport, the airport told Channel 9 that as of 3:30 p.m. Friday, the North Park Place Economy Lot, South Park Place Economy Lot, Garage A, B and Terminal Top were all full.

READ: Coronavirus: Thousands of flights canceled globally amid omicron surge

The airport is recommending travelers get to the airport three hours early. They are even recommending people use a ride share or carpool to avoid the traffic jams.

Another setback for travelers: canceled flights.

Nearly 500 flights nationwide were canceled Friday, with 225 more canceled Christmas Day.

Flights on Delta, United and JetBlue are among those canceled.

READ: Cruise with 55 COVID-19 cases on board will remain at sea

Channel 9 is going to keep an eye on the flight board at Orlando International Airport to see if any flights here will be affected by the cancellations.

Orlando airport leaders predict that Friday and Saturday will be the least busy travel days of the 19-day holiday travel period.

Travel is expected to get busy again after Christmas.

On Sunday, more than 146,000 people are expected to travel through OIA.

READ: Coronavirus: United, Delta, JetBlue and others cancel Christmas Eve, Christmas Day flights

The busiest day ahead will be New Year’s Day, with 153,000 travelers expected.

In total, 2.6 million people are set to fly in and out of Orlando this holiday season.

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