Airlines Continue to See Surging Flight Cancellations
Both Spirit and American Airlines canceled significant portions of their schedules today…
Just as “normalcy” seemed ready to settle onto the traveling public…
Recent news items regarding COVID-19 upticks and mandatory masking on public transport and many destinations caused a ripple through the industry. However, the most pressing problem at the moment is planes stuck on the ground.
Today, the third day of flight cancellations crushed the plans of many travelers across the country.
Associated Press writer David Koenig explained, “Spirit Airlines canceled nearly half its schedule for Tuesday, the third straight day of extremely high cancellation numbers at the budget airline.
“American Airlines had canceled nearly 300 flights by early afternoon Tuesday, but it is much larger than Spirit, and those flights amounted to a less-alarming 9% of its schedule,” added the AP.
What’s the problem? Firstly, a tech issue; the system that helps schedule flight crews was down. Moreover, because of cancellations, rescheduled crews were unable to find their way to their departure points.
Secondly? The lack of pilots and personnel. Period.
The disruptions at Spirit and American are just the latest examples of airlines scrambling to deal with an increase in travel this summer. Airlines have thousands of fewer employees than they did before the pandemic, but U.S. air travel has recovered to about 80% of 2019 levels.”
Meanwhile, weather issues in the Dallas-Fort Worth area over last weekend were also blamed. A statement released by American Airlines explained the company was working to take care of would-be passengers.
However, union spokesman Dennis Tajer told the AP, “It’s pretty simple. They don’t have enough pilots, and they don’t have modern scheduling practices to do more with what they have.”
Summer Travel Boom
CNN.com also covered the story. Gregory Wallace and Pete Muntean reported:
- The disruption comes as airlines, especially the low-cost carriers like Spirit, are adapting to a surge of summer vacations after a drop-off in demand last year.
- According to a Transportation Security Administration tally of checkpoint screenings, Sunday was the busiest day at the nation’s airports since the pandemic cratered air travel.
- Other airlines have canceled flights and asked for employees to work extra shifts to handle the summer rush.
Feature Image: OrlandoAirports.net