Customers frustrated while American Airlines forced to cancel flights due to labor shortage

Updated: Jun. 20, 2021 at 10:22 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV/AP) - Hundreds of American Airlines flights have been canceled due to labor shortages, the airlines announced.

Those cancellations have even impacted flights in and out of Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

The airline had 120 cancellations on Saturday alone and is projecting at least 50 to 80 flight cancellations a day going forward.

Many flights will be canceled through at least mid-July, American Airlines said.

“It’s very inconvenient,” said traveler Omar Avila.

The Avila family was scheduled to fly from Raleigh to Charlotte Sunday evening with American Airlines, but the exact opposite happened.

“Our original flight was from Raleigh to here but it got canceled so then I tried to get everything sorted out they told me I could just come here, we could check in here,” Avila said.

Avila said customer service told them the flight was canceled due to an issue with the crew.

With only a few hours to spare, they got a relative to drive them from Raleigh to the Charlotte airport thinking they could still catch their flight.

“This was the only time we could get here and I tried to check-in and they said now we have to wait until about three hours before the flight which is at 4 a.m., 5 a.m.” Avila said.

WBTV spoke to an American Airlines spokesperson who says the airline is having to make adjustments to about 1 percent of scheduled flights.

They released a statement that reads:

“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 with the goal of impacting the fewest number of customers by adjusting flights in markets where we have multiple options for re-accommodation. 

“Our focus this summer ― and always ― is on delivering for our customers no matter the circumstance. We never want to disappoint, and feel these schedule adjustments will help ensure we can take good care of our customers and team members and minimize surprises at the airport.”

Travelers Laura Delporte and Tim Schultz were also flying with American Airlines and say their flight to Indianapolis wasn’t affected.

“Everything’s been great. American has been easy to work with,” Delporte said. “They’ve been great.”

American Airlines says they will be adjusting flights through mid-July.

“I guess things like this just happen and I guess now we just got to wait,” Avila said. “There’s really nothing else we can do.”

The airline’s Dallas-Fort Worth hub is said to be most affected by the scheduling issues.

American Airlines customers who have been booked through July 15 will be notified so they can make travel adjustments in advance.

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