Operational woes for American Airlines continue as flight cancellations and delays are already beginning to mount after a very rough weekend.
Flight Cancellations Continue Into November On American Airlines
This morning even before 9:00AM ET American Airlines has cancelled 289 flights (10% of its flight schedule) and delayed 166 flights (5% of its flight schedule) according to FlightAware. These numbers will likely worsen throughout the day.
American Airlines blamed the delay on staffing:
“With additional weather throughout the system, our staffing begins to run tight as crew members end up out of their regular flight sequences.”
But American Airlines added that 1,800 flight attendants are returning from leave today and that more will return next month. More pilots will be returning too.
I heard from an Executive Platinum yesterday, traveling from Los Angeles to Nashville nonstop. His flight was cancelled and American Airlines rebooked him via Miami, which could be worse considering he’d fly a Boeing 777 from Los Angeles to Miami and was upgraded to business class. But mid-flight, his Miami to Nashville flight cancelled. AA rebooked him on another flight…and it cancelled too.
The next available flight was not until late the following morning. He had work and ended up buying a ticket on Southwest Airlines to get back to Nashville in time. He also paid for a hotel room in Miami after American Airlines declined to cover it.
This is a savvy Executive Platinum who travels over 100,000 miles per year on American Airlines. It is a difficult time to fly on American Airlines for many right now.
How To Realistically Handle A Cancellation Or Delay
If your flight is delayed or impacted and the American Airlines app does not offer a viable alternative routing, you can pretty much forget reaching American Airlines by phone. Wait times exceeded 11 hours last night. Lines at airports will also be long. Even Twitter responses times have slowed down.
If you do not have the luxury of simply buying a ticket on another carrier consider contacting a foreign office or foreign language number at AA for potentially faster results. If you’re in an airport, consider purchasing an Admirals Club one-time pass for $59. Dedicated agents in the lounge can help you far more quickly than waiting hours in line in the concourse.
Hopefully the latest operational meltdown at American Airlines is clearing up and the rest of the week will be smoother, but cancellations are again approaching 300 this morning. If your travel plans are impacted and you do not have the time to wait in long queues on the phone or in airports, consider the two alternatives I outlined above.