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American Airlines cancels 1,500 flights over Halloween weekend due to staff shortages and bad weather

Thousands of passengers were stranded after a quarter of American Airlines’ flights were cancelled by just after 9am on Sunday

Bevan Hurley
Sunday 31 October 2021 14:28 GMT
American Airlines cancels 1,000 flights ahead of Halloween
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American Airlines had cancelled 670 flights by 9am on Sunday, nearly a quarter of all its daily flights, according to the flight-tracking website Flight Aware.

That brought the total number of flights cancelled by American Airlines over the Halloween Weekend to over 1500.

The airline blamed bad weather and ongoing staff shortages are to blame.

In a statement provided on Saturday, it said two days of high winds at its main hub at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport had severely reduced its flight capacity, and left staff and planes out of sequence.

Thousands of angry passengers took to social media to vent their frustrations at the airline.

Many reported they had been unable to reach conferences or family gatherings over the Halloween weekend.

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.

The cancellations had wrought “chaos” at Charlotte Douglas Airport in North Carolina, one person wrote.

“You’ve got brides and grooms and kids and people trying to make cruises and prepaid vacations all stranded with no reasons given,” the frustrated traveller wrote.

In a statement to staff on Saturday shared with The Independent, American Airlines Chief Operating Officer David Seymour said two days of “severe winds” at Dallas-Fort Worth earlier in the week had halved the number of flights that were able to land there.

“This weather drove a large number of cancellations at (Dallas-Fort Worth), as we could only use two runways instead of the usual five that handle our operation.”

Airline crew had been stranded “out of sequence”, and they had proactively cancelled flights in response.

Mr Seymour said staffing shortages were expected to ease when 1800 return from leave on 1 November.

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