American Airlines cancelled nearly 2,000 flights over the Halloween weekend as high winds left staffing ‘tight’

American Airlines airport check-in line
American Airlines said it cancelled nearly 2,000 flights over three days. Brandon Bell/Getty
  • American cancelled nearly 2,000 flights over the weekend, citing staff shortages and bad weather.
  • The airline said it cancelled 1,058 flights on Sunday – 20% of its scheduled flights for that day.
  • Chief Operating Officer David Seymour told employees that severe winds left staffing “tight.”

American Airlines said it cancelled almost 2,000 flights over the Halloween weekend due to a shortage of staff and bad weather.

The carrier cancelled 343 flights on Friday, 548 flights on Saturday, and 1,058 flights on Sunday, bringing the total number of cancellations to 1,949, an American spokesperson told Insider on Monday.

The cancellations on Sunday represented more than 20% of American’s scheduled flights for the day, according to the spokesperson.

The airline had cancelled 250 flights as of 4:30 a.m. Central Time on Monday, the spokesperson added.

“We expect considerable improvement beginning today with some residual impact from the weekend,” the spokesperson said Monday.

As of Sunday morning, nearly 900 American Airline flights had been delayed since Friday, American previously told Insider.

American’s Chief Operating Officer, David Seymour, on Saturday told employees in a letter, seen by Insider, that severe winds cut capacity at the airline’s main hub at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport and left employees stranded in the wrong places to catch their next flights.

“Our staffing begins to run tight, as crew members end up out of their regular flight sequences,” he wrote in the letter.

He said that the strong winds meant American could only use two runways instead of five.

“Most of the customers impacted by these changes are being rebooked the same day,” Seymour wrote in the letter.

Nearly 1,800 flight attendants are expected to return from leave on November 1 and more are set to come back by December 1, Seymour added. There will also be more than 600 new hires by the end of the year, he wrote.

American is currently hiring more pilots and airport crew to help with the upcoming holiday season, Seymour said in the letter.

American’s cancellations come weeks after Southwest Airlines lost $US75 ($AU100) million from more than 2,000 flight cancellations because of bad weather and air traffic control problems.

In August, Spirit Airlines cancelled more than 2,800 flights due to a combination of bad weather, system outages, and staffing issues, it said.