Air travel

Staff Shortage, Influx of Passengers Causes Airline to Cancel Hundreds of Flights

According to data from FlightAware, American Airlines canceled over 400 flights this weekend across the country. 

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A shortage of pilots, mixed with maintenance issues, bad weather and a faster-than-expected takeoff in passengers, is causing some airlines to cancel flights or change their schedules. 

Passengers on various airlines expressed their frustrations as they faced cancelations. 

“Not only am I not getting home to my children, now I have to find a flight,” said one stranded passenger, Magdeline Simmerville.

“It’s my wife’s birthday. Just a few days. We were trying to enjoy ourselves and it didn’t seem like it would be so involved to try and get back home,” said Adam Attia, who was trying to get back to New Jersey after a rescheduled flight. 

According to data from FlightAware, American Airlines canceled over 400 flights this weekend across the country. 

On Sunday, TSA said 2.1 million people were screened, the most since March or 2020. 

At Miami International Airport on Monday, about a handful of flights were called off.

At Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport, the line at the re-booking counter was also long on Monday after a mechanical issue grounded an American Airlines flight. 

American Airlines said it canceled hundreds of flights this weekend due to staffing shortages, maintenance and other issues, challenges facing the carrier as travel demand surges. NBC 6's Carlos Suarez reports.

Some travel experts says there’s not a lot passengers can do about the situation. 

“You can’t take your ticket and use it on another airline that has capacity. And there is no requirement that airlines have any kind of reserves,” said Paul Hudson, president of Flyer’s Rights. 

"The thing about airlines is you can't just turn a light switch and restart again,” said Scott Mayerowitz, The Points Guy. 

American Airlines’ decision to furlough pilots during the pandemic also complicated the situation as pilots must go through re-training before returning. 

The airline is trimming its schedule through mid-July right as travel demand is reaching pre-pandemic levels. 

In a statement to NBC 6, the airline said, “The majority of these adjustments were made in markets with multiple flight options with the goal of moving customers to these different flights. When that’s not possible, our customers are able to receive a full refund when the schedule change is more than four hours from their original departure time.” 

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