American Airlines cancels summer flights

Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 6:48 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - American Airlines slashed nearly a thousand flights over the weekend due to staffing shortages, maintenance, and other issues.

The TSA reported a record number of travelers during the weekend.

Yeager Airport has also seen an increase in the number of travelers.

“We are near our pre-COVID numbers again. We have been above that a handful at a time. It has been nice to see travel again and getting to some of the favorite vacation spots they couldn’t go to last year, " said Chris Williams, public affairs manager at Yeager Airport.

Before the pandemic, Yeager Airport averaged about 800 passengers daily.

The surge in travel demand along with labor industry shortages caused American Airlines to cut flights to avoid potential strains.

A spokesperson for American Airlines said, “The first few weeks of June have brought unprecedented weather to our largest hubs, heavily impacting our operation and causing delays, canceled flights, and disruptions to crewmember schedules and our customers’ plans. That, combined with the labor shortages some of our vendors are contending with and the incredibly quick ramp-up of customer demand has led us to build in additional resilience and certainty to our operation by adjusting a fraction of our scheduled flying through mid-July. We made targeted changes to impact the fewest number of customers by adjusting flights in markets where we have multiple options for re-accommodation.”

The number of flights being culled is relatively small, only amounting to 1% of the airline’s planned flights in the first half of July.

American Airlines told WSAZ it hopes calling off some flights in advance and shifting passengers onto alternate flights will reduce the need to cancel flights at the last minute if weather or maintenance issues arise.

A spokesperson for the airline says, “at this time the airline has not proactively canceled flights from Yeager Airport or to the Huntington Tri-State Airport.”

No matter which airline you book your flight with, delays can occur. Williams suggests downloading the airline’s app to get the latest notifications.

“Download your app and put your ticket in the app. Have your push notifications turned on so if you have a cancellation, a gate change, a date change, or a delay those airlines will send you a notification through your app. That way, you are on top of it,” Williams said.

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