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Flight cancellations ruin New Year's Eve plans for some

Southwest Airlines planes sit at the gate at San Diego International Airport on June 3, 2021.
Roland Lizarondo
Southwest Airlines planes sit at the gate at San Diego International Airport on June 3, 2021.

The holidays have always been a chaotic time at the airport.

That's especially true now with COVID-19 and storms disrupting travel plans.

“I had to get there two to three hours early,” said Mikayla Arbelez, who was traveling from New York.

Arbelez said she traveled to San Diego for New Year's Eve. It’s something she had long been waiting for and there was no way she was missing her flight.

“We were checking for weeks, we’re just hoping it doesn't get canceled,” Arbelez said.

RELATED: Holiday travel canceled for some as flight crews test positive for COVID

One couple said their flight to the East Coast had been canceled three days in a row.

As of Friday afternoon, nearly 60 flights at the San Diego International Airport were delayed and 10 were canceled, according to the website FlightAware.

Nationwide, there have been more than 9,000 flight cancellations and more than 45,000 delays since Christmas Eve.

The main reasons are winter weather and COVID cases among staff. One airline worker told KPBS that a handful of her coworkers had tested positive for COVID.

The Transportation Security Administration has also reported on its website more than 1,700 active COVID cases among workers.

Flight cancellations ruin New Year's Eve plans for some

Rebecca Schwartz from Massachusetts said she’s just trying to get home, but it’s unclear when that will be.

“It was fine coming out here, but our plane is already delayed so we’re going to miss our connecting flight and we know it's the last one of the night so we are a little worried,” Schwartz said.

Even with all the obstacles travelers are facing, many are just looking forward to the new year, even if that means ringing it in at the airport.