Returning holiday travelers face widespread flight delays, cancellations

The second day of the new year meant another day of travel woes in the air for those returning from their holidays. 

Flight delays and cancellations on Sunday were reported across the county and here in the Bay Area. Airlines are blaming the issues on a combination of bad weather and staff shortages. 

Across the country, more than 2,600 flights were canceled on Sunday worldwide, and around 8,800 were delayed, according to travel site Fight Aware.

"At first my flight got canceled," said Alexa Chacon, who arrived at Oakland Airport from Tucson on Sunday. Her airline then changed the flight to delayed. The departure time was then pushed back twice.

"It keeps changing. Earlier today it was 40 minutes, now it's 10 minutes. We'll see, and I think it's the last for the night so hopefully we're out of here and we're not going to sleep in the airport," said Shirin Doroudgar, who was flying from Oakland International Airport to Phoenix on Sunday.

Days of cancellations have had a trickle-down effect on the airlines, making normally crowded holiday flights, even worse.

"The whole flight was booked. Like every single seat," said Chacon.

Airlines say they are taking steps to reduce cancellations. 

United Airlines is offering to pay pilots triple or more of their usual wages for picking up open flights through mid-January. 

Spirit Airlines reached a deal with the Association of Flight Attendants for double pay for cabin crews through Tuesday.