Delta cancels 100 flights due to staff shortages

Delta Air Lines reportedly canceled about 100 flights on Sunday due to staff shortages and placed some customers in middle seats for the first time in a year.

“We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience, and the majority have been rebooked for the same travel day,” Delta said in a statement, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

The airline said that it has had more than 1 million passengers in the past few days, the Journal-Constitution reports, the most it’s seen since the pandemic began.

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Websites at three Delta hubs showed 33 canceled flights arriving or departing, the newspaper notes, with 19 canceled flights at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, 11 at Detroit's Metropolitan Airport and three at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport.

Delta said it unblocked some middle seats Sunday and Monday but would continue keeping passengers out of those seats through the rest of the month.

The company had announced on Wednesday that it would be reintroducing the sale of middle seats beginning May 1, about a year after it stopped selling those seats to allow for some social distancing on flights. Onboard drinks and snacks will also return in mid-April. Boxed meals will return in July.

“The relationships we’ve built, together with the knowledge that nearly 65 percent of those who flew Delta in 2019 anticipate having at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by May 1, are what’s giving us the assurance to offer customers the ability to choose any seat on our aircraft, while also introducing new services, products and rewards to support the journey,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a statement last week.