American says it canceled 1,058 flights on Sunday, or roughly one in every five of its originally scheduled flights. That was on top of the 548 flights it canceled on Saturday and 343 flights on Friday. Overall about 10% of its mainline flights have been canceled over the four-day period. The canceled flights have stranded tens of thousands of passengers.
In a memo, American COO David Seymour said the airline is “proactively canceling” flights to provide “scheduling certainty for our crews” after high winds and bad weather hit major hubs including Dallas-Fort Worth on Thursday, leaving flight crews out of position.
American insists help is on the way. Starting Monday, the airline says 1,800 flight attendants are returning from pandemic time-off.
Capt. Dennis Tajer, an American Airlines pilot and spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association, said last month that the union is particularly concerned with how the airlines will handle the surge in passengers during the Thanksgiving and December holiday periods.
“We want that flying to get done, but we don’t want tickets sold that can’t be fulfilled,” he said. “Are they biting off more they can they chew?”
American Airlines cancels 250 more flights