Detroit Metro Airport cancels, delays dozens of flights over holiday weekend

Detroit News staff and wire reports

Some holiday travelers faced dozens of canceled flights over Christmas weekend at Detroit Metro Airport, a development tied to the omicron variant and other issues.

Twenty flights at Detroit Metro were canceled Sunday morning, as of 10 a.m. Sunday, following 32 cancellations Saturday and 34 on Friday, one of the busiest travel days of the year, according to FlightAware, a third-party flight tracker.

Delta Airlines, for which Detroit is a Midwest hub, saw the majority of cancellations, with 17 on Sunday, 26 on Saturday and 30 the day before. 

Spirit, American and other airlines also cancelled flights, according to the site.

People line at Detroit Metro Airport McNamara Terminal as they check-in luggage and head towards their departure gates on Wednesday, December 23, 2020.

Nearly 200 flight delays at the Romulus-based airport were recorded on FlightAware over the weekend as well.

Delta said it canceled dozens of flights because of staff shortages tied to the omicron variant. 

In total, the airline canceled 145 flights on Friday and 111 for Christmas Day, according to FlightAware. Other factors, such as weather, are also causing cancellations. United called off 175 flights on Friday and 69 on Saturday.

Wayne County Airport Authority spokeswoman Erica Donerson told The Detroit News that Friday's cancellations and delays could have come for a variety of reasons.

"The cancellations are not having a significant impact on operations at Detroit Metropolitan Airport," Donerson said. "The airlines work hard to notify customers about cancellations in advance. As always, we encourage customers to check their flight status prior to heading to the airport."

Delta said it canceled flights Friday because of the impact of omicron and possibility of bad weather after it had “exhausted all options and resources — including rerouting and substitutions of aircraft and crews to cover scheduled flying.”

It said in a statement that it was trying to get passengers to their destinations quickly.

Staff writer Hani Barghouthi contributed.