- American Airlines kicked off the week by canceling 436 flights as of midday Monday.
- Since Friday, American has canceled over 2,000 flights and delayed about 1,500.
- American Airlines said the cancellations happened because of staff shortages and bad weather.
Since then, another 186 have been canceled, bringing the airline’s total cancellations to 436, according to American. FlightAware pegs the cancellations at 15% of its total operations, but American told Insider it is only about 8%.
Monday’s cancellations came after the carrier faced a Halloween weekend full of chaos due to bad weather and staff shortages.
American Airlines has canceled over 2,000 flights since Friday, including 343 flights on Friday, 548 flights on Saturday, 1,060 flights on Sunday, and 436 on Monday, bringing the total number to 2,387. American told Insider that Sunday’s mass cancellations accounted for about 21% of the airline’s operation, though FlightAware reported 36%. The cancellations impacted over 136,000 customers, according to a company document viewed by CNBC.
There were also nearly 900 delayed flights between Friday and Sunday, with another 541 delayed as of 3:30 p.m. Central Time Monday, according to FlightAware.
“We expect considerable improvement beginning today with some residual impact from the weekend,” the American Airlines spokesperson told Insider on Monday morning.
American’s chief operating officer blamed strong winds at its massive Dallas Fort-Worth hub for a large portion of weekend cancellations, saying that because of the weather, only two runways were available for use as opposed to the usual five.
The issues at Dallas Fort-Worth subsequently left employees in the wrong locations, unable to catch the correct flights.
Despite the trouble, COO David Seymour on Saturday told employees in a letter seen by Insider that most fliers were being rebooked the same day.
In order to avoid a similar situation as holiday travel ramps up, 1,800 flight attendants are set to return from leave on November 1, with an additional group headed back to work on December 1. The company has been requiring cabin crews to work extra shifts despite contract rules, according to a memo sent to members of American’s flight attendant union, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants.
“The fact that there is inadequate staffing to cover the operation as it is currently structured is not the fault of flight attendants,” union leadership said in the letter.
American also plans to hire 600 more employees by the end of 2021, including pilots and airport crew, Seymour said in the letter.