American Airlines canceling flights to accommodate increased demand for flights

After more than a year in quarantine, it seems people are itching to get away but now they're dealing with flight cancellations.

"Three or four times a year I travel," said Halima Noel. That was before pre-COVID, but this is the first time she’s flying since the pandemic began. FOX 29's Shawnette Wilson talked to Noel as she returned to Philly on American Airlines from Los Angeles Monday evening. 

"It was a little rough. It’s like everybody’s trying to get back into the swing of things," she said. 

She just missed American Airlines over the weekend canceling nearly 300 flights. 

American Airlines says the cancellations are partly because of weather-related issues but mostly due to not enough staff to meet the higher demand for flying.

"If we look at Philadelphia International Airport, one of the major hubs for American Airlines so canceling one or two flights on a particular day means that there are simply other flights on to which they’re going to move these passengers," said Gabe Saglie. He’s the senior editor at Travelzoo. 

"Let’s say your flight gets cancelled and they put you on a new flight and it’s within four hours of your originally scheduled flight. Then you’re sort of stuck with going with your new flight. It’s only when you’re kicked into flights that are later in the day or the next day where all of a sudden your opportunity or your right to request a refund comes in," he said. Saglie says you could consider moving your flight to after mid-July when American expects to have the kinks ironed out and without penalty fees. 

"The plus around booking now is the fact that you’re seeing some of the better values for summer travel now that you will see," he said.  

Ron Williams just landed in Philly on American Airlines and says he heard about the cancellations while out west. 

"I probably would get stuck somewhere I don’t want to get stuck like Los Angeles," said Williams. 

American Airlines says it cancelled one flight from PHL today out of nearly 290 departures. They plan to cancel two flights daily though, according to a spokesperson. 



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