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Tipsheet

American Airlines Cancels 12 Percent of Monday's Flights Amid Crew Shortage

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File

Over the Halloween weekend, American airlines canceled more than 1,500 flights nationwide, a trend that continued Monday as 12 percent of the carrier's flights for the day were canceled before noon.

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After similar days of cancellations plagued Southwest Airlines in October, American explained a familiar excuse, in part: weather. "Severe winds at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Texas have reduced American's arrival capacity by more than half, with the inclement weather also impacting the airline's staffing, American had said over the weekend," explained Reuters

As of Monday morning, nearly 350 more American flights had been canceled — per FlightAware — for the day as promises that its situation would improve seem to be falling short. As Reuters also reported, some 1,800 of American's flight attendants were slated to return from leave on Monday, but that doesn't seem to be helping planes get off the ground.

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A shortage of pilots and flight attendants — much like the labor shortage affecting other sectors of the American economy — continues to lead to problems such as those stranding American Airlines customers across the country.

Crew shortages, caused in part by layoffs earlier in the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, have only been compounded by the airline's vaccine mandate. According to The Hill:

Vaccine mandates implemented by airlines have also given rise to staffing concerns. The Allied Pilots Association, a labor union representing thousands of American Airlines pilots, has told pilots not to let looming vaccine deadlines distract them in the cockpit.

“The latest hazard we face may be the hardest, regardless of your personal views concerning the vaccine mandate. We are seeing distractions in the flight deck that can create dangerous situations,” the union said in a memo. 

As more Americans begin traveling again — especially as the busy holiday travel season approaches and more popular destinations relax their Wuhan coronavirus protocols — the need for crews will only increase putting even more pressure on airlines to ensure their flights are staffed. 

Photos from travelers attempting to reach their destinations via American Airlines in the last few days show crowded boarding areas, long lines for customer service, and a more hellish than usual travel experience. 

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