American Airlines cancelled 342 flights on Friday, more than any other airline in the world. That came on the heels of a major day of cancellations on Thursday. The primary cause of this was weather in Dallas – and the skies were clear.
The largest American Airlines hub is in Dallas. It’s subject to its share of weather, but skies were clear on Thursday. Yet gusts of wind reached as high as 50 miles per hour for a good portion of the day. All of North Texas was under a National Weather Service wind advisory that lasted until midnight. As a low pressure system moved out of Texas and into Arkansas, a high pressure system came in behind it – and between the two was high winds.
Why is it so windy today?
A strong low pressure system near the Arkansas/Missouri border will continue to strengthen today causing winds to increase around it as well. Very gusty winds will stretch from Texas into Oklahoma, Kansas, and eastern Colorado. #wfaaweather pic.twitter.com/iMCC5VGhGF
— Kyle Roberts (@KyleWeather) October 28, 2021
Already American Airlines exceeded recent cancellation peaks on Saturday, dumping around 400 flights. Once an airline’s operation goes sideways, it takes time to recover because planes and crew are out of position. And then when it happens at the end of the month, things get even worse, because many employees have hit their maximum duty hours and aren’t eligible to work as replacements. That’s doubly true for an airline that’s been running short-staffed.
American has already cancelled over 250 flights for Sunday as well, and that’s a new month, but each day’s cancellations have knock-on effects.
— Jaredz Ghost (@JaredzGhost) October 30, 2021
The airline’s Chief Operating Officer, David Seymour, sent a memo to employees:
Happening over Halloween weekend, maybe the witch’s broom would’ve been better – and this Halloween video wasn’t such a good idea after all?
When you've got places to be and spells to cast and the 🧹 can't get you there. Happy Halloween! 🎃 pic.twitter.com/8Twd7CrPz0
— americanair (@AmericanAir) October 29, 2021