American cancels over 1,500 flights during Halloween weekend

Oct 31, 2021

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with additional cancellation and delays from American Airlines and Southwest. It was originally published on Oct. 30.


American Airlines has canceled over 1,500 flights this weekend and an additional 1,200 flights have been delayed according to the latest data from FlightAware. The airline has also canceled some over 660 flights so far today, Sunday, Oct. 31.

The cancellations have taken place at airports across the country, with a particularly high concentration of flight disruptions in Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and airports along the east coast. Winds were, in fact, blamed in a statement from American Airlines COO David Seymour to its team members obtained by TPG.

According to FlightAware, the airline canceled 342 flights on Friday, Oct. 29 and 738 were delayed. On Saturday, Oct. 30, 543 flights were canceled and 431 flights were delayed. For Monday (Nov.1) so far, American Airlines has canceled 37 flights.

“This week saw two days of severe winds in DFW, with gusts of up to 50 mph on Thursday, creating crosswind limitations that sharply reduced arrival capacity by more than half. This weather drove a large number of cancellations at DFW, as we could only use two runways instead of the usual five that handle our operation,” said Seymour in the statement.

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The weather delays and resulting disruption of staffing schedules caused the airline to proactively cancel some flights, said Seymour. He added that there was nonetheless “good news.”

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

“Specifically, for flight attendants, we have nearly 1,800 returning from leave starting Nov 1— and the remainder coming back by Dec. 1— and will have 600+ new hire flight attendants on property by end of December. Additionally, hiring for our airports is well underway and we anticipate 4,000 new team members joining us across the system in the fourth quarter. The hiring of pilots and within Tech Ops continues to take place, and we already began ramping up hiring in Reservations so more team members will be in place for the holiday season.”

One flyer in Miami (MIA) contacted TPG to say he couldn’t get a flight out to Los Angeles until Sunday.

“Although I [have] elite [status] and could use the lounge, they still stranded me in Miami with no hotel, food or compensation,” the traveler said in an email. “You should have seen the lines for the common traveler. You can imagine how they treated them if they totally left me hanging and I am Executive Platinum [with American Airlines].”

Southwest has also struggled this weekend. So far today, 185 flights have been canceled and 148 flights have been delayed. On Saturday, 87 flights were canceled and 743 flights were delayed, per FlightAware data.

Airlines have been dealing with cancellations caused by a myriad of factors. In early October, Southwest canceled more than 1,800 flights during one weekend. If you do happen to find yourself in the unfortunate position of having your flight canceled, make sure to consult this list of steps to take so that you don’t get stuck.

Featured photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy

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