American Airlines delays leave thousands of passengers frustrated, stranded

According to the popular flight tracker Flight Aware, American Airlines cancelled more than 500 flights on Saturday and more than 700 on Sunday, leaving thousands of passengers stranded across the country.

“Well, I’ve had delay after delay,” said Elizabeth Carter.

After their flight to Charlotte was cancelled, the Carter family drove from Toledo to talk to an American Airlines agent because the wait time by phone topped four hours.

“We’ve got to get home,” Elizabeth Carter said. “My mother passed yesterday, and in two or three days when we know when the funeral is, we have to fly back.”

Lauren Carter is hoping for a quick resolution.

“I got to be with her one last time and I know that meant so much to her,” she said. “Every flight that gets cancelled makes it harder. Trying my best. We’ll figure it out. It’ll be ok.”

In a letter to staff shared with USA TODAY, American Airlines said weather in Dallas drove a number of cancellations, which impacted staffing.

“Quite honestly, I don’t think it’s the weather,” Elizabeth Carter said. “I think it’s COVID related.”

Earlier this month, American Airlines said employees must be vaccinated by Nov. 24th.

The union representing pilots warned of possible staffing shortages due to employees losing their jobs for refusing the vaccine.

“I’m very empathetic with the workers,” said Steve Williams, a traveler looking at different airlines. “Even if it’s impacting me.”

Williams knew there had been issues this Halloween weekend.

“I checked last night because I knew there were cancellations with American,” he said. (It) was OK, even this morning it was OK.” Not until I got to the gate, I found out.”

He said there was no one working at the gate.

“If I had not checked my email, I’d have been sitting there for God knows how long,” he said.

Like so many others, he’s now trying to find another flight home.

“I think they tried their best, but there’s no options,” Williams said.

About the Author:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism