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American Airlines Has Cancelled More Than 2,000 Flights Since Friday

Bad weather on Thursday started a domino chain of cancellations for the airline.


Since Friday, thousands of American Airlines passengers have had to change plans as the airline has canceled more than 2,000 flights. The airline canceled 1,700 flights over the weekend and another 300 flights on Monday. The problems peaked on Sunday, when it canceled more than 1,000 flights — totaling over a third of its scheduled flights for the day.

American Airlines wrote in a staff letter on Saturday that these cancellations were because of high wind gusts on Thursday, which limited capacity at its Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport hub. This prevented some crew members from being in position for their next flights.

“This weather drove a large number of cancellations at DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport), as we could only use two runways instead of the usual five that handle our operation,” the letter says. “With additional weather throughout the system, our staffing begins to run tight as crew members end up out of the regular flight sequences.”

Related: American Airlines Flight Diverted After Passenger Punches Flight Attendant in Face: 'This Behavior Must Stop'

American Airlines COO David Seymour says he expects operations to get back to normal in November, and says most customers were rebooked on flights the same day.

With travel increasing over the past few months as people get vaccinated, small operational issues and a lean staff can throw off thousands of flights as airlines struggle to meet demand. Earlier this summer, American Airlines canceled hundreds of flights because of similar issues. It's also far from being the only airline with problems that are amplified by short staffing, as Southwest also made headlines in October after canceling more than 1,800 flights.

Related: Passengers Furious After Southwest Airlines Leaves Thousands Stranded: 'I Just Want to Go Home'