New year brings more canceled flights for air travelers

    (AP) - The new year is bringing more of the same old misery that air travelers in the United States have been enduring for more than a week.

    Airlines are blaming wintry weather and high numbers of sickouts due to the rising number of COVID-19 infections around the country.

    According to tracking service FlightAware, more than 2,600 U.S. flights and nearly 4,600 worldwide had been canceled by late Saturday afternoon.

    That's the highest single-day toll yet since just before Christmas, when airlines began blaming staffing shortages on increasing COVID-19 infections among crews.

    But weather, not the virus, was the culprit in Chicago, where Southwest Airlines suspended flights because of the grim forecast.

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