Over 1,700 American Airlines flights were cancelled over Halloween weekend, with the company citing staffing shortages and weather issues.
The airline reported that 343 flights on Friday and 548 on Saturday were cancelled, with the bulk of cancelled flights coming on Sunday, which reached almost 800 (New York Post). At least 450 flights were cancelled on Monday, as well. The cancelled flights totaled 30% of the planned flights for Sunday, which compares to Southwest cancelling just 5% of its planned flights.
The company’s Chief Operating Officer, David Seymour sent a note to staff on Saturday in which he blamed staffing shortages and weather woes. “With additional weather throughout the system, our staffing begins to run tight as crew members end up out of their regular flight sequences,” he wrote. This was in reference to increased wind speeds in Dallas, Texas, which is where the airline is based (NPR).
Seymour said that he expected things to stabilize in November and claimed that the majority of customers with cancelled flights had been rebooked for later in the same day.
This comes after months of cancelled flights across all airlines, but especially American’s. Staff shortages have been a continued issue for the airline, amid layoffs during the pandemic and vaccine mandates that not all staff are willing to comply with.
The company says that the staffing shortages shouldn’t be continuing, with 1,800 flight attendants coming back from a leave and 600 new employees joining by the end of the year.