Omicron, weather to blame for more than 100 flight cancellations at SFO

The combination of weather and omicron are causing continued flight cancellations and delays at San Francisco International Airport. 

While the weather may be clearing locally, that's not the case on the East Coast. The highly-contagious COVID-19 variant and snow pounding the East Coast are a proverbial double whammy. 

The only silver lining, this time in early January and into February there is usually a lull in air travel, so fewer passengers are impacted.

The weather and COVID-related staff shortages have caused 102 cancelations at SFO, or about 11% of all flights, and close to 70 delays, impacting about 7% of all flights. 

"It is appearing to be a mix of weather related issues, not only here but in other parts of the country along with those staffing related concerns," said Doug Yakel from San Francisco International Airport. "Unfortunately we really don't get a breakdown of how much is one or the other."

SFO says airlines are working hard to notify passengers early enough so they don't show up at the airport, waiting for hours for a flight. "Really what we're seeing is a lot of these cancellations are happening not an hour before departure, they're happening well in advance," said Yakel. 

"They're happening overnight, such that passengers can find out before they ever show up to the airport; which is always what we hope for."

The airport also said one of the silver linings of COVID, is that airlines are more understanding when passengers want to cancel or change reservations, so if a trip isn't necessary now, try to reschedule.  

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"Take advantage of that opportunity if you want to make changes yourself," said Yakel. "If you don't and your flight gets a delay or a cancellation take advantage of the technology sign up for those proactive flight notifications so you know about it before you ever step foot in the airport."

The airport pointed out that SFO had great flying conditions earlier this week, and no delays, only cancellations, so that may be an indication that the delays are likely caused by weather, the cancellations are likely staffing related.