American Airlines cancelled more than 200 flights over the weekend due to staffing shortages and expects to cut more daily through July.
The company scrapped 123 flights on Saturday and 178 flights on Sunday, with 97 more cancelled for Monday. All airlines are dealing with staffing issues connected to the coronavirus pandemic; in March 2020, when air travel all but stopped, thousands of employees were laid off or accepted buyouts, and now that people are flying again, there are not enough workers. American Airlines said its catering contractor and wheelchair operators also are not fully staffed.
American Airlines told ABC News it may need to cancel 50 to 60 flights a day for the rest of June and 50 to 80 flights a day in 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,” American Airlines said in a statement.
The company added that it’s doing its best to let customers know well in advance that their flights have been cancelled, and they can rebook on the American Airlines app.
The Transportation Security Administration is also dealing with staffing issues and acting TSA Administrator Darby LaJoye has asked office employees to temporarily volunteer to work at the airports, managing security lines and getting new hires up to speed. The TSA aims to hire 6,000 new workers to help with the busy summer travel season.
By Joe Cusmano