Another wave of mass flight cancellations hit travelers this weekend, but this time it was American Airlines with the issues. According to a report by The Daily Mail, nearly one-third of the American Airlines flights booked for Sunday were canceled - over 800 flights in total. This emerging pattern has many commenters online seriously rethinking their holiday plans.
American Airlines blamed strong winds for the cancellations around Dallas, Texas, and staffing shortages for the more general cancellations around the U.S. As with other recent mass cancellations, customers questioned why weather would impact one airline more strongly than others, and looked to government agencies for confirmation on the conditions. American Airlines had about 2,400 flights scheduled for Sunday and canceled over 800 of them - the highest yet in a string of bad days for the company.
American Airlines has canceled over 1,500 flights since Friday, including 342 on Friday and 543 on Saturday. There have also been hundreds of delays on each of those days, which for some customers can function as cancellations, depending on their plans.
"With additional weather throughout the system, our staffing begins to run tight as crew members end up out of their regular flight sequences," a company spokesperson told CNN. They added that they expect all these issues to be resolved on Monday, and for the schedule to return to normal.
For some customers, that's too little, too late. Many have already sworn off American Airlines for life after the disastrous fallout of their travel plans this weekend. Meanwhile, labor organizers say that companies simply shouldn't be allowed to use "staffing shortages" as an excuse when there are professionals willing to work for the right price.
"The fact that there is inadequate staffing to cover the operation as it is currently structured is not the fault of Flight Attendants," said a flight attendants' union representative in a statement published by The Wall Street Journal. Along the same lines, one disgruntled customer tweeted: "Shoulda used that PPP money to keep people employed, instead of laying them off and putting it in shareholder pockets. People gonna stop flying if airlines can't be relied on to keep a schedule."
These issues are all too familiar to Southwest Airlines customers, who were left similarly stranded earlier this month with a string of cancellations. The fact that the issue has now plagued a different airline has some customers questioning the reliability of air travel at all - especially with the holidays approaching.