If anyone thought that the summer ramp-up would be smooth, then this last weekend proves otherwise. In case you missed it, American Airlines canceled hundreds of flights over the weekend and made adjustments to pull down other flights through July. Here is what you need to know about the cancelations and what to do if you are booked to fly.
American Airlines canceled hundreds of flights
American Airlines suffered an operational hit this last weekend, pulling down hundreds of flights and facing delays on others. The airline released the following statement on the cancelations:
“The first few weeks of June have brought unprecedented weather to our largest hubs, heavily impacting our operation and causing delays, canceled flights and disruptions to crew member schedules and our customers’ plans.
“That, combined with the labor shortages some of our vendors are contending with and the incredibly quick ramp up of customer demand, has led us to build in additional resilience and certainty to our operation by adjusting a fraction of our scheduled flying through mid-July.
“We made targeted changes with the goal of impacting the fewest number of customers by adjusting flights in markets where we have multiple options for re-accommodation.”
In short, there was a confluence of events, and the quick return of air travel demand has impacted American’s operations. However, the problem is not unique to American, as other airlines have faced similar problems with heavy schedules and operations.
The cancelations through mid-July represent a very small portion, around 1%, of American’s planned flying. Over the last weekends, the percentage of cancelations compared to the overall flight schedule were in the mid-single digits– still an overall low percentage of the airline’s operations. American still expects to fly a robust schedule this summer.
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I am scheduled to fly; what do I do?
If you are scheduled to fly on American Airlines in the next month, are airline will reach out to you if there are any changes to your itinerary or schedule. You can also look online to see if there were any changes to your plans. It represents a tiny percentage of flights, so chances are you will not be impacted.
If your flight was canceled, there are a couple of options. You can either accept an alternate flight accommodation with American Airlines, or you can get a full refund. Do note that if you do not have flexible travel plans or do have to travel, rebooking with another airline may come at a higher price than accepting alternate travel options with American Airlines.
Why the proactive cancelations are good for passengers
There is little that is perhaps more frustrating than getting to an airport on time, checking in, dropping off your bag, going through security, and then finding out that your flight has been canceled. To minimize that, American has proactively decided to pull down a small percentage of its schedule.
This helps minimize last-minute disruptions at the airport. The cancelations are perhaps a bit of a rationalization of the airline’s scheduled capacity and actual ability to fly. There may need to be further tweaks, but the airline will still be flying a robust schedule.
American still has some issues to keep working on, however. The airline must keep getting its own employees trained and back in the schedule and hire new employees for positions it needs to be filled. Not to mention, the airline also has to work with its vendors and labor shortages there.
Ultimately, this summer is not going to be very easy. There are still some bumps expected along the way, but this represents a good start for American Airlines. Hopefully, the issues can be worked out, and the schedule can be repaired very soon.
Were you impacted by any of the recent schedules? Let us know in the comments!