LAS VEGAS (KLAS)— As COVID-19 fueled flight cancellations have taken a toll on Christmas Eve travel across the U.S., 8 News Now spoke with travelers about their experience at Harry Reid International Airport Friday.
“The only thing we had to wait for was the luggage,” Tery Stith, who was visiting from Houston, said. “So, it’s been smooth.”
Most local travelers said they didn’t run into any problems, while airport arrival and departure boards only showed a handful of cancellations Friday night.
“I arrived like two hours early when I didn’t need to,” traveler Louise Lucas said about her airport experience.
However, that wasn’t the case everywhere, as airlines worldwide canceled approximately 2,000 flights on Dec. 24, some 600 of those in the U.S.
United, Delta, and other major airline carriers said the fast-spreading Omicron variant has led to staffing shortages as TSA officials cite a pre-pandemic surge in airport passengers.
“We’re doing our socially distancing, following all the guidelines,” Stith said of his precautions. “So, we aren’t worried at all.”
Regardless, those here in Las Vegas said health concerns and potential delays didn’t keep them home this year.
“You try to stay away from people,” Lucas said. “You’re going to sit next to them anyway, so it didn’t really matter.”
They told 8 News Now they encourage others to do everything they can to stay safe into 2022.
“It’s important to get vaccinated,” traveler Roshawna Stith said. “And get your boosters.”
Delta and United Airlines said they are working to rebook passengers stuck in airports across the country as of Friday night.