Reportedly, a Delta flight originating from Seattle and seeking to land in Shanghai Pudong International Airport was forced to make a U-turn mid-flight due to an infraction of COVID protocols and rules.
“Delta Air Lines said Monday that new pandemic-related cleaning requirements at a Shanghai airport were behind the turning back of a recent flight from Seattle in midair, a move that had prompted a protest from the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco,” stated a report from the Associated Press this past Monday.
One statement from Delta seemed to indicate that “the new mandates at Shanghai Pudong International Airport ‘require significantly extended ground time and are not operationally viable for Delta,’ stated the outlet.
It is still fairly unclear as to which of the mandates, in particular, actually led to the flight being forced to turn around.
The whole ordeal “left passengers with expired COVID-19 test results and U.S. visas,” stated various Chinese media reports, as told by the Associated Press.
This past Sunday in San Francisco, the Chinese consulate made a statement on the fact that quite a few flights from the U.S. to China had been forced to be delayed or just outright canceled, going on to add that a flight did have to come back even after surpassing the halfway mark of its travel, stated the report.
As reported by The Daily Wire, A few thousand of the flights slated to take place over the Christmas weekend were cancelled, and many thousand more seeing very lengthy delays:
The Daily Mail dubbed the situation a “Christmas Flightmare,” noting that nearly 1000 flights either entering or leaving the United States were canceled on Christmas Day alone, and some 3000 additional flights were delayed that day as well
CNN transportation reporter Pete Muntean had the story going into the holiday weekend, tweeting, “DEVELOPING: United Airlines is canceling more than 100 Christmas Eve flights citing the Omicron variant’s impact on flight crews and workers.”
“UPDATE: Now Delta Air Lines is canceling 90+ flights tomorrow due to a ‘combination of issues’ including the impact of the Omicron variant. ‘Delta teams have exhausted all options and resources,’” he added in a follow-up tweet.
Delta also secured a headline spot this past Monday due to one traveller reportedly throwing a fit over another passenger who was maskless during the flight.
“Police say they were called to Hartsfield-Jackson International airport last week in reference to an unruly passenger on a Delta flight from Tampa to Atlanta,” stated WSB-TV. “Officers and Delta employees were waiting at the gate when the plane arrived. Passengers exiting the plane told police that a passenger named Patricia Cornwall caused a ‘disturbance’ that led to the injury of other passengers and Delta employees.”
It was later reported that Cornwall was taken into custody by law enforcement officials before being handed over to the FBI.