Spirit Airlines and American Airlines cancel hundreds of flights.
Spirit Airlines and American Airlines canceled hundreds of flights on Tuesday after days of disruption, frustrating passengers across the country.
By mid-afternoon, Spirit had cut more than half of its scheduled flights for the day, according to FlightAware, an aviation data company. The airline canceled more than 40% of its flights on Monday and 19% on Sunday. Spirit attributed these disturbances to “a series of meteorological and operational challenges”.
American had canceled about 300 flights by mid-afternoon Tuesday, or about a tenth of the trips scheduled for Tuesday. The airline canceled about 18% of its flights on Monday and 9% the day before. American blamed a weekend storm that hit Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, its major central airport.
“A prolonged severe weather event in Dallas Fort Worth from Sunday evening to Monday morning brought sustained heavy rain, strong winds, lightning, microbursts and hail to our largest hub,” said Curtis Blessing, a door -speak, in a press release Tuesday. “The nine-hour weather event resulted in flight delays, cancellations and nearly 100 diversions. Our team members work tirelessly to take care of our customers.
Before the wave of disruption, it had been a relatively good stretch for both airlines. According to FlightAware, only about 2% of American flights and about 1% of Spirit flights were canceled last month. The two airlines recorded more cancellations as a percentage of the total number of flights in July 2019, according to data from the Department of Transportation.
However, most major airlines experienced widespread delays of at least 15 minutes this summer. On a few occasions, inclement weather has combined with pandemic-related staff shortages to cause prolonged disruptions.
American said some employees have reached the maximum number of hours they can work at one time due to weather delays this week. The airline said it expects its operations to improve from Tuesday.
The industry saw a relatively strong summer rebound as people emboldened by widespread immunizations resumed travel. More than 2.2 million people were screened at federal airport security checkpoints on Sunday, the highest number since early March 2020, according to the Transportation Security Administration. Yet air travel remains around 20% below 2019 levels.
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