American Airlines reported in a statement that hundreds of flights were canceled over the weekend due to severe weather and personnel shortages.
According to the corporation, severe winds in Dallas-Fort Worth, the business’s major hub, restricted arrival capacity dramatically. Flights at its Charlotte, North Carolina, hub were also impacted.
“With additional weather throughout the system, our staffing begins to run tight as crew members end up out of their regular flight sequences,” American said in a statement to CNN.
According to FlightAware, an aviation tracking website, as of Saturday night, 499 flights, or 18 percent of the airline’s operations, had been canceled. Another almost 300 flights were canceled, accounting for 11% of the company’s operations.
284 American flights were also canceled ahead of schedule on Sunday.
According to FlightAware, 738 flights were delayed or canceled on Friday, accounting for about a quarter of American’s operations.
On Saturday, 4,967 flights were booked, according to American Airlines.
“To make sure we are taking care of our customers and providing scheduling certainty for our crews, we have adjusted our operation for the last few days this month by proactively canceling some flights,” American said.
Thousands of passengers are traveling this Halloween weekend, with many of them venting their frustrations on Twitter.
Southwest, on the other hand, has canceled 86 flights and delayed 473, despite having fewer flights per day.
Airlines provided buyouts and early retirement packages to staff to minimize expenses when air travel fell in early 2020. Service interruptions have become increasingly common as they strive to hire or rehire workers.
During the holiday season, American anticipates additional in-flight teams to return. According to the airline, 1,800 flight attendants will return on Monday, with the remainder returning by December 1. In the fourth quarter, the airline plans to hire more people.
Other airlines have had problems recovering to normal operations when travel picks up after all but shutting down during the early days of the Covid-19 outbreak. During one weekend in October, Southwest experienced an operational meltdown, canceling almost 2,000-weekend flights.
The business attributed the move to air traffic control issues and insufficient staffing in Florida, as well as inclement weather, and said that resuming normal operations was “more difficult and lengthy” due to scheduling and staffing restrictions implemented during the pandemic.