File Photo: To prevent the spread of COVID-19, air travelers wear masks and are separated by plexiglass as they make their way through security at Love Field in Dallas, Friday, Dec. 31, 2021. Flight cancellations surged again on the last day of 2021, with airlines blaming it on crew shortages related to the spike in COVID-19 infections. AP
By early afternoon Sunday on the East Coast, more than 2,300 US flights and more than 3,900 worldwide had been canceled, according to tracking service FlightAware.
That followed Saturday's mass cancelations of more than 2,700 US flights, and more than 4,700 worldwide. Saturday's single-day US toll was the highest since just before Christmas, when airlines began blaming staffing shortages on increasing COVID-19 infections among crews.
A winter storm that hit the Midwest on Saturday made Chicago the worst place in the country for travelers throughout the weekend as the region's airports continued to recover Sunday morning.
About a quarter of all flights at O'Hare Airport were canceled Sunday.
American Airlines said most of Sunday's canceled flights had been canceled ahead of time to avoid last-minute disruptions at the airport.