CHICAGO (CBS) – More than 1,000 flights into and out of Chicago have been canceled Saturday as snow piles up and COVID cases still affect airport staffing, leaving many holiday travelers in a tough spot.

“Today’s cancellations are driven by Omicron staffing and weather-related issues. We did pre-cancel flights in anticipation of inclement weather. We’ve been contacting passengers early if their flights are canceled to give them time to rebook or make other plans,” United Airlines said in a statement.

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Just before 10 p.m., O’Hare International Airport reported 854 cancellations and Midway International Airport reported 273 according to Delays averaged less than 15 minutes at both airports.

Midway was a ghost town except for a few employees manning empty desks and a few people stuck trying to figure out their plans.

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One of those travelers is trying to get all the way back home to Bolivia, but because her flight Saturday was canceled, she’d missed all of her connecting flights. She said her day just went from bad to worse.

“This night is another problem because I can’t find a nearby hotel,” Scarlet Perez said. “My only option is to stay the night here. For food, I will try to call delivery.”

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Across the United States, 11,043 flights were delayed and 4,696 were canceled.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff