It's not just a holiday problem.
Massive flight cancellations are spilling into 2022, and the airlines are blaming the weather and the lack of staff due to Covid outbreaks. Aviation expert Josh Verde: "I don't think the weather this winter has been beyond what it normally is. I think what we're looking at is a combination of things all adding up!" Are the airport nightmares really all Covid's fault? It's complicated, according to Verde. " Covid is definitely part of it, but I don't think it's the sole reason - and it may not be the primary reason."
He thinks this problem began at the very beginning of the Covid lockdown. "They expected a severe decreased demand and offered a lot of people - including pilots and flight attendants - early retirement. Now I think the tables have turned." Verde says the industry would love to replace the absentees, but recruiting, hiring and training new people moves slowly. Also, the absentee's confusion about the length their quarantine and possible difficulty in being re-tested are also part of the mix.