TAMPA, Fla. — American Airlines canceled or delayed hundreds of flights nationwide since Friday.
American Airlines sent a memo to its employees on Saturday. The memo stated severe winds at its largest hub, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, caused cancellations. The memo said, "we could only use two runways instead of the usual five that handled our operation."
On Friday, American canceled 343 flights systemwide. By Oct. 31, American canceled 1,060 flights. On Monday, American Airlines had fewer cancellations with 424 canceled flights.
A spokesperson for American Airlines said on Monday, Tampa International Airport had about 3 canceled flights out of the 36 scheduled departures.
We spoke with passengers who had their flights delayed. Eliza Smith lives in Portland. She had her flight delayed in Tampa.
"I was supposed to leave at 5:30 p.m., going to Charlotte. I had a 50-minute layover to Portland and I got delayed two hours so now I would rather get suck here than Charlotte," said Eliza Smith, passenger.
"I also have a cousin here in Tampa trying to get back to Rochester. He was supposed to leave this morning at 5:50. His flight got delayed until 7:39 tomorrow. I’m trying to get that flight too," said Amanda Salle, passenger.
The other problem leading to cancellations is a lack of staff. Post pandemic, airlines must rehire and retrain thousands of employees. A memo to employees also stated, "The hiring of pilots and within Tech Ops continues to take place, and we already began ramping up hiring in Reservations so more team members will be in place for the holiday season."
Dr. Ahmed Abdelghany, an Associate Dean for Research and Professor of Operations Management at Embry- Riddle Aeronautical University, said a lack of slack with the schedule and staffing issues are leading to cancellations.
"The airline is squeezing the schedule when they are planning it because of the lack of staffing. They need to get more and more out of the existing staff, right, so pretty much this will end up having less slack in the schedule," said Dr. Abdelghany.
An American Airlines spokesperson said, "Tomorrow (Tuesday), there are no current impacts to our Tampa schedule."