The emergence of the Omicron variant has undoubtedly shaken up the travel world since the start of the holiday season and continues to disrupt travelers as COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the U.S. With airlines canceling over 1,000 flights right before New Year’s Eve and more flights canceled at the start of 2022, this brings the total to 8,800 domestic flights canceled since Christmas Eve according to CNN.
Airlines aren’t the only industry affected by this latest surge. Recently, the CDC issued an advisory that people should avoid cruise ship travel and also raised the COVID-19 Travel Health Notice to a Level 4 for cruising. Under this new advisory, the CDC recommends avoiding cruise ship travel, regardless of vaccination status. For those who still intend to cruise, it is recommended that travelers be fully vaccinated before cruising and get a COVID-19 vaccine booster if eligible. You should also get tested 1-3 days before a cruise and 3-5 days after, regardless of vaccination status or symptoms, and self-quarantine for a full 5 days after cruising if not fully vaccinated.
The Omicron variant will continue to cause significant flight delays and cancellations. AAA recommends that air travelers prepare themselves for changes to routes, dates, and even destinations as airlines work hard to get travelers to their destinations safely. Additionally, always monitor your flight’s status and check-in for flights 24 hours in advance to receive notifications of delays as soon as possible.
For travelers facing cancellations or significant delays, it is important to remember that you are entitled to a full refund under federal law. Contact your travel agent or airline for details, but be prepared for delays thanks to a surge in requests.
This pandemic has the potential to disrupt travel for quite some time, so it is more important than ever to work with a travel agent if possible, as they can help manage cancellations and re-bookings while you wait so you can focus on your trip.