After cancelling over 1,500 flights over the weekend, American Airlines cancelled over 250 more flights on Monday morning, accounting for about 9% of its scheduled trips. The airline blamed the travel disruptions on weather and staffing issues.
On Sunday, American says it cancelled 1,058 flights, or roughly one out of every five originally scheduled flights. This was in addition to the 548 flights cancelled on Saturday and 343 flights cancelled on Friday. Over the four-day period, approximately 10% of its mainline flights were cancelled. Thousands of passengers have been stranded as a result of the cancelled flights.
According to CNBC, American COO David Seymour blamed the delays on poor weather conditions around Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, the airline’s base of operations, in a note to employees on Saturday.
American insists that assistance is on its way. According to the airline, 1,800 flight attendants will return from pandemic leave on Monday.
Southwest Airlines cancelled thousands of flights over a week last month as its reduced staff struggled to respond to weather-related disruptions.
When the COVID-19 pandemic halted air travel in 2020, airlines offered staff buyouts, early retirement packages, and unpaid leave in order to cut costs and survive the downturn. All of the airlines are now scrambling to hire new employees and bring back as many as possible.
However, unions at the various carriers claim that some of the service disruptions are the result of poor management decisions and ineffective scheduling systems. And the problems, they say, will not end with this weekend’s woes.