JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Flights to and from Jacksonville are among hundreds canceled by American Airlines Monday.
The airline says it is struggling with staffing shortages and by late afternoon Sunday, American had canceled more than 900 flights nationwide — one-third of its schedule for the day — after scrapping nearly 900 flights over the previous two days, according to tracking service FlightAware.
|American Departing Flights canceled at JAX Monday, November 1, 2021||American Arriving Flights canceled at JAX Monday, November 1, 2021|
|Flight 2713 to Miami: scheduled to depart 6:00 a.m.||Flight 2916 from Charlotte: scheduled to arrive 10:00 a.m.|
|Flight 375 to Dallas-Fort Worth: scheduled to depart 8:00 a.m.||Flight 772 from Charlotte: scheduled to arrive at 11:18 a.m.|
|Flight 465 to Charlotte: scheduled to depart 8:23 a.m.|
|Flight 876 to Dallas-Fort Worth: scheduled to depart 9:39 a.m.|
|Flight 2463 to Charlotte: scheduled to depart 12:09 p.m.|
American’s troubles began Thursday and Friday, when high winds at times shut down its busiest hub, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, and prevented the airline from using all runways there. That made it difficult for American to get crews in position for upcoming flights, and caused disruptions. The number of canceled and delayed flights grew larger in number and geographic sweep throughout the weekend.
Aaron Tavarez, traveling out of JAX is frustrated. “Now we can’t rebook, they’re trying to rebook us for Wednesday I believe. Me and my friend, we work and what not. So that’s why we’re in this line now, we’re trying to figure out what sort of accommodations we get or figure it out because we want to be able to show up for work on time.”
The cancellations and delays have some travelers wondering if travel insurance is the way to go. It covers the cost of the trip if the flight is delayed or canceled. Scott Lara with The Cruise Genius says it’s critical because we may see more flight cancelations like these going into the holidays.
“I always recommend that my clients get travel insurance.” Lara says. “Because if it’s lost bags, whatever’s out there, travel insurance is going to protect you.”
Lara also says he thinks vaccine mandates could play a role in staffing shortages as American Airlines is instituting a vaccine mandate November 24th and many pilots and air traffic controllers have pushed back against those mandates.
“What should people know? People really need to know that during the holiday travel season that it is going to be difficult. They really need to have more flexible plans.” Lara also says to just stay calm because it’s difficult because of pilots, computers weather.
Dennis Tajer, an American Airlines pilot and spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association, said the union had not seen such a high level of cancellations.
“Since the spring we have been warning of these post-weather management failures to recover, and it’s just getting worse,” he said. “We continue to be very concerned about the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming winter holiday travel season.”
American planned about 2,600 flights Sunday, not counting regional affiliates that fly as American Eagle. That number is scheduled to jump to more than 3,000 flights on eight days around Thanksgiving and early December, according to aviation-data firm Cirium.
Earlier in October, Southwest canceled well over 2,000 flights after disruptions started with weather problems in Florida and were compounded by staffing shortages. Southwest's chief operating officer said the airline was pursuing “a very aggressive hiring plan" but was "still not where we want to be with staffing,” especially pilots.
David Koenig can be reached at www.twitter.com/airlinewriter