American Airlines has already canceled 200 flights early Monday morning
American Airlines continued its Halloween horror of a weekend by cancelling more than 200 flights early Monday morning, following more than 1,700 cancellations since Friday as experts warn of looming chaos ahead of the holiday season.
The airline has blamed weather control issues, such as strong winds that battered its Dallas hub earlier this weekend, and ongoing staff shortages due to lay-offs made when travel cratered at the start of the COVID outbreak.
In total, nearly 2,000 flights have been axed by the airline since Friday with up to 1,000 delays and 500 cancellations potentially looming, according to FlightAware.
On Sunday alone, more than 850 flights were cancelled, more than 16 percent of that day’s fleet total, while 365 trips were delayed.
Prior to that, 543 flights were cancelled on Saturday while 400 were delayed, and on Friday, 343 cancellations happened.
‘With additional weather throughout the system, our staffing begins to run tight as crew members end up out of their regular flight sequences,’ American Airlines said in a statement to CNN.
Despite continuing issues throughout the weekend, an spokesman for the airline said they are expected to be resolved on Monday.
Angry passengers shared a snap of an AA line at Dallas Fort Worth Sunday after fresh cancellations
Lines snaked around the Texas airport’s terminal as more than 800 flights – almost half of the airline’s planned schedule, were nixed, bringing the total axed over the weekend to more than 1,600
One passenger vowed to never fly American Airlines again after two of her flights were either cancelled or delayed on her way home
One of the main causes of the cancellations and delays over the course of the weekend has largely been attributed to the weather conditions in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
The area has seen two days of strong winds leaving passengers stranded at the one of American Airlines’ biggest hubs, Dallas Fort Wort International Airport.
Wind conditions, which are currently at 9mph, were said to have strong gusts earlier in the weekend with a recorded high of 60mph on Friday.
That has caused a knock-on effect where staff stuck on earlier delayed or canceled flights have gone over the number of hours they can work, lowering the number of people now available to cover later flights.
Others are also no longer at the airports they’re supposed to be working on due to earlier cancellations and delays.
‘The fact that there is inadequate staffing to cover the operation as it is currently structured is not the fault of Flight Attendants,’ a union for US flight attendants said in a statement to its members on Saturday, according to the Wall Street Journal.
A host of angry passengers took to social media over Halloween weekend to vent over the cancellations and delays.
Angry passengers took to Twitter over the delays and cancellations during the course of the weekend
‘NEVER FLYING @AmericanAir AGAIN after a cancellation now the flight the next day is DELAYED I just wanna get home,’ @EdenVerity posted on Twitter along with a screenshot of her Snapchat post showing that she was flying out of DFW Airport.
‘Thanks for canceling our 1pm flight at 7:45am. Really looking forward to spending 13 hours in the car with my family!’, @carsmely commented.
‘I will make sure that my family & friends never fly with you again. What you did to us and the hundreds other customers waiting for cancelled flights at DFW is unacceptable. The lowest standards of customer service in the flying industry! #aa’, @madelamo commented with pictures of the long lines at DFW.
Other commenters attributed the airlines’ delays and cancellations to the COVID vaccine mandate that forced company workers to quit or be terminated for not complying.
‘If @AmericanAir can’t staff their flights, they shouldn’t sell seats on those flights! AA received $7.5 billion of taxpayer money for COVID, they posted big profits, and then cancelled 1,600 flights over 3 days??? #congressionalinvesitgatilon,’ @richardbarney tweeted.
On October 21, the CEOs of American and Southwest Airlines said that they did not plan to terminate unvaccinated workers if they applied for an exemption.
The order for airline workers to be vaccinated came after the Biden administration’s announcement of the mandate for federal contractors including AA.
American Airlines, who set the mandate for November 24, said that workers must apply for the medical or religious exemption from the vaccine if they wanted to continue working for the company.
American Airlines saw over 800 flights cancelled on its Sunday schedule due to two days of strong winds in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and staff shortages
American Airlines has said that they will continue hiring for new positions towards the end of the year due to the high anticipation of holiday travel.
‘The good news moving forward is that we continue to staff up across our entire operation and we will see more of our team returning in the coming months,’ Chief Operating Officer David Seymour said in a memo to his employees.
In addition, 1,800 flight attendants are reported to be coming back to the company on Monday and more are also said to be returning on December 1.
The airline previously saw a string of cancellations over the course of last weekend due to a system outage from their regional partner SkyWest.
Over a thousand flights were cancelled between American Airlines as well as United, Delta and Alaska.
The outage had left passengers stranded at various airports, either from cancellations or delays, and grounded planes as well as flight crews.