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More travel chaos for American Airlines as over 300 flights canceled Monday morning



Travel hassles continued for American Airlines passengers Monday morning as the carrier canceled more than 300 flights — bringing its total number of cancellations since Friday to over 2,000.

There were 323 canceled American Airlines flights as of 11 a.m. ET Monday, representing 11 percent of the airline’s scheduled flights, according to the flight tracker site Flight Aware. Another 226 flights were delayed.

The airline has cited staffing shortages and bad weather for the disruptions to its schedule.

On Saturday, American Airlines Chief Operating Officer David Seymour said in a staff note obtained by CNBC that the problems began with high wind gusts Thursday that cut runway capacity at its hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, creating a domino effect that resulted in crew members unable to be in position for their next flights.

Pilot and flight attendant availability was listed as the reason for most of the cancellations on Saturday and Sunday, according to internal tallies, which were seen by CNBC.

Seymour said that most customers were rebooked the same day and he expected operations to stabilize in the coming days.

But the blip has raised questions ahead of the busy holiday travel season.

In recent months, other airlines, too, have had to cancel hundreds of flights as a result of staffing shortfalls: Southwest Airlines in October canceled more than 2,000 flights, which it said cost it $75 million.

Air travel saw a sharp rebound in the spring, but many airlines have still been running on skeletal staffing, having offered voluntary buyouts or leaves of absence to thousands of employees when the pandemic brought their industry to a halt.

Carriers are working to ramp staffing back up. Seymour said that 1,800 American Airlines flight attendants would be returning from leave starting Monday and that the rest would be back by December, CNBC reported.

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