American Airlines’ string of flight cancellations lengthened by 250 on Monday, for a total of nearly 2,200 in the past four days.
Tens of thousands of passengers were stranded over Halloween weekend as the airline cancelled 343 flights on Friday, 548 on Saturday and another 1,058 on Sunday.
With the additional 250 grounded on Monday, the airline has cancelled about 10 per cent of its mainline flights during the four-day period, CNN reported.
American Airlines’ Chief Operating Officer David Seymour blamed the cancellations on bad weather and staffing shortages in a statement shared with The Independent on Saturday.
Mr Seymour said two days of “severe winds” at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport had halved the number of flights able to land there and “drove a large number of cancellations.”
Flight crews were subsequently pushed “out of sequence,” prompting the airline to “proactively cancel” flights nationwide.
Mr Seymour insisted that the airline will be back running at full capacity soon as 1,800 flight attendants are scheduled to return from pandemic-related leave.
Thousands of angry passengers took to social media to vent their frustrations at American Airlines over the weekend, with many reporting being unable to reach work events or family gatherings.
One passenger said they had three flights cancelled in two days. Another said it took four hours to reach the airline’s “rude” customer service staff after having two flights cancelled.
Several US airlines have faced staffing shortages in recent months after they were forced to offer buyouts, unpaid leave and early retirement packages when air travel ground to a near halt during the pandemic.
Last month, Southwest Airlines cancelled nearly 2,400 flights in the span of three days, citing bad weather and air traffic control issues.
Crew member unions have blamed the cancellations on poor planning by airline executives scrambling to hire new staff.
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