Summer flightmare continues as over 1,000 flights are canceled and almost 4,000 are delayed

Summer flightmare continues as over 1,000 flights are canceled and almost 4,000 delayed amid East Coast storms: American Airlines and Southwest top the list with MOST flights canceled ahead of the weekend

  • 969 flights within, into or out of the United States were called off on Friday, while 2,445 flights were delayed
  • Twitter users were up-in-arms about the delays, with one asking why there is ‘no recourse to the provider when they fail consistently?’
  • American Airlines also announced it will be cutting service to four smaller cities starting on September 7
  • The mayhem comes as Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has proposed expanding the circumstances in which travelers can claim refunds from airlines

America’s airport nightmares continued on Friday as thunderstorms loomed over the East Coast and airlines kept canceling and delaying flights, much to the chagrin of passengers. 

According to FlightAware, which tracks the status of flights around the world, 1,142 flights within, into or out of the United States were called off on Friday, while 3,944 flights were delayed. 

American Airlines were the worst offenders, with 218 flights canceled and another 467 flights delayed. 

Southwest Airlines led American airlines in terms of delays with a whopping  1101 delayed flights on Friday, which made up 27% of their total flights. They also cancelled 143 flights. 

Many planes may encounter delays as they aren’t in the correct position because of Thursday’s delays, but the Federal Aviation Administration said thunderstorms could disrupt flights along the East Coast. 

Travelers wait in line at an American Airlines counter at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va. Airlines have said thunderstorms could disrupt flights along the East Coast

Travelers wait in line at an American Airlines counter at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Va. Airlines have said thunderstorms could disrupt flights along the East Coast

Twitter users were up in arms about the delays and made a point to tweet their grievances at the official accounts of the airlines. 

One user, @royalewithchief, asked American Airlines: ‘Is there a worse product we pay a lot of money for to not get a guaranteed level of service with no recourse to the provider when they fail consistently?’ 

Another user, @chrischen815, tweeted his flight was canceled after booking ‘nonrefundable hotels.’ He also said ‘AA said it was doing us a “courtesy” of providing a refund even it was the one who canceled the flight.’ 

The rescheduling comes as American Airlines announced it would be cutting 2 percent of flights from its schedule in September and October, CNN reported. 

According to the airline, the cuts were ‘proactive adjustments’ in order to accommodate the resources it currently has available and build a ‘buffer’ into the remainder of its summer schedule. 

The airline says it will reach out to passengers directly with ‘alternative travel options’ and provide full refunds to those who reject the new flight arrangements.

The airline also announced it will be cutting service to four smaller cities starting on September 7. They said they will no longer be flying to Islip and Ithaca in New York, Toledo, Ohio or Dubuque, Iowa. 

American Airlines spokesperson Brian Metham said the changes were due to a ‘lack of regional pilots.’ 

‘Like many network carriers, we have reduced our regional flying in recent months in response to the regional pilot shortage,’ he said. 

The flight scrambles come as the US Department of Transportation proposed a new rule that would expand the circumstances when airlines must offer refunds. 

Currently, passengers are only entitled to refunds if an airline has ‘made a significant schedule change or significantly delays a flight and the travelers chooses not to board the flight. 

The DOT does not define what ‘significant’ means in this context, but the new proposal would change that. 

Under the new rule, significant changes would be defined as changes that affect departure or arrival times by three hours or more in domestic flights and six hours or more for international flights. 

Passengers stand in line to go through security at Charlotte Douglas International Airport as delays and cancelations plague the nation due to factors such as limited airline staff

Passengers stand in line to go through security at Charlotte Douglas International Airport as delays and cancelations plague the nation due to factors such as limited airline staff

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has proposed expanding the circumstances in which travelers can claim refunds from airlines

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has proposed expanding the circumstances in which travelers can claim refunds from airlines 

It also includes if changes are made to the airport the flight is arriving at or departing from, as well as changes to the number of connections and if someone experiences a big downgrade in their travel experience. 

‘This new proposed rule would protect the rights of travelers and help ensure they get the timely refunds they deserve from the airlines,’ Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement.  

The current number of Americans traveling has increased since the height of the pandemic, but remains lower than the pre-covid era. On Wednesday, The US Transportation Security Administration screened more than 2.1 million passengers at airports nationwide, about 86 percent from the same day in 2019.  

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