American Airlines canceled 2,199 flights over the weekend between Friday and Monday.
On Monday, CNN reported the airline announced it had canceled 250 flights, adding to 1,058 flights canceled on Sunday, 548 flights on Saturday and 343 on Friday. In a memo, COO David Seymour said the airline has been affected by high winds and bad weather at major transportation hubs, including Dallas-Fort Worth, and the airline was “proactively canceling” flights in order to create “scheduling certainty for our crews” who were left out of position.
Sunday’s cancellation of 1,058 flights amounts to about one in five of its flights originally scheduled that day.
The mass cancellation of American Airlines flights comes about three weeks after Southwest Airline saw a similar mass cancellation of about 2,000 flights. Southwest’s mass cancellation saw the airline lose about $75 million in revenue.
CNN reported airlines have also seen hiring difficulties in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, airlines offered staff buyouts, early retirement packages and unpaid leave to cut costs brought on by pandemic-related restrictions. Now, CNN reported those same airlines are still working to bring back employees.
Some unions say the problems for airlines are related to bad management and scheduling systems. Last month, Capt. Dennis Tajer, an American Airlines pilot and spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association said the union is particularly concerned about how airlines will handle scheduling during the upcoming holiday season.
“We want that flying to get done, but we don’t want tickets sold that can’t be fulfilled,” Tajer said. “Are they biting off more than they can they chew?”
Last month’s mass cancellation of Southwest flights also fueled rumors of deliberate “sickout” protests by airline crews opposed to vaccine mandates imposed by airline companies.
In an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, airline pilot Joshua Yoder discussed the possibilities of mass flight cancellations related to opposition to vaccine mandates. Yoder is also the co-founder of US Freedom Flyers, an organization of airline industry employees opposed to state and federal vaccine mandates.
“As far as I’m concerned, I will never promote a sickout or a work action, that is illegal. With US Freedom Flyers, the organization that I’m with, we will never promote such a thing,” Yoder said. “With that being said, we also cannot control the actions of individuals. I think that you will see massive disruptions in your supply chair and in travel if we just stand up and say no. If these companies fire us and they fire 30 percent of the workforce, aircraft are going to stop moving.”