Good and bad news for travelers in the new year

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(NewsNation Now) — There have been thousands of flight cancellations and delays so far this season.

Currently, hundreds of flights are canceled as the omicron variant creates havoc both for travelers and for airlines who are having to cobble together flight crews as infections rise among pilots and flight attendants.

The TSA is expecting to screen more than 2 million people as travelers return home from their New Year’s celebrations this weekend.

“It’s not tomorrow and Saturday they’re worried about,” travel journalist Peter Greenberg said during an appearance on “Morning in America”. “They’re worried about Sunday.”

Greenberg expects to see more flight cancellations Friday and Saturday, two days in which “nobody really flies a lot,” he said.

“Nobody’s flying on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day,” Greenberg said. “They’re trying to redo their schedule. So they’re going to handle the load on Sunday because that’s the day when everybody’s coming back.”

According to Greenberg, the other question is if it’s a flight delay or a cancellation?

“The real problem here are the numbers,” he said. “You had 1,000 cancellations yesterday, but you had 7,000 delays.”

The key to flight delays are “in the intermediate part of your flight,” Greenberg said.

“That’s where people are getting stuck, in those intermediate airports,” he said. “If those flights are delayed, there’s nowhere to go. So be sure that you can track your flight to find out where it is.”

If you absolutely have to travel this coming weekend, here are a few tips:

  • Be prepared. You might have to schedule your return flight for Monday. Sunday’s going to be a tough day, number one.
  • Number two, in the old days, you could use one of the flight apps, like FlightAware or Flightradar24, to track your flight. Those apps no longer have as much meaning. It’s now a question of who can track the flight crews. And there’s no app for that. So unless you’re on the very first flight of the day, be prepared for more delays or cancellations.
  • Delays or cancellations will be preemptive Friday and Saturday, so airlines will be able to get everybody back in line in terms of sequencing and be able to operate their flight schedule with some degree of normalcy on Sunday.

Watch the full interview with Peter Greenberg in the video player at the top of the page.

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