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Hundreds of flights canceled as Spirit and American Airlines face operational struggles

Aug. 02, 2021
3 min read
Hundreds of flights canceled as Spirit and American Airlines face operational struggles
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Hundreds of flights were canceled or delayed in the United States on Monday as a range of issues appeared to impact two major carriers, American Airlines and Spirit Airlines.

At American, about 13% of the carrier's scheduled flights — 387 total — had been canceled as of 3 p.m. ET, while another 533, or 18%, were showing as delayed, according to flight-tracking website FlightAware.

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A whopping 35% of Spirit's flights — 269 — had been canceled as of early Monday afternoon, while another 126, or 16% of the airline's planned schedule, were delayed.

Weather appeared to be the main driver of American's difficulties, despite issues with staffing flights earlier this summer. The Dallas-Fort Worth area — home to American's headquarters and biggest hub — was buffeted by severe thunderstorms on Sunday, when powerful winds and hail moved through and caused numerous flights to divert or otherwise be delayed or canceled.

A spokesperson for the airline cited Sunday's storms, as well as related air traffic control delays, several ramp closures at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport (DFW) on Sunday, and a ground stop at DFW on Monday as the airline worked to get back on track following the storms.

A source at American confirmed to TPG that the disruptions stemmed from weather events, and said that the airline was working to get back to normal following the disruptions.

The cause of Spirit's operational disruption was less apparent.

A spokesperson for the airline cited "a series of operational challenges" pointing to a mixture of difficulties that have impacted the airline industry at large.

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Reports that Spirit employees were striking or walking off the job were strongly refuted by the airline spokesperson, as well as representatives for airline unions including the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA). The AFA cited weather, "schedule month change over," and IT problems as among the biggest causes of the delays.

"Management is proactively canceling flights today to recover the operation and prevent further disruption for passengers," the AFA said in a statement.

More: What’s going on with all of those cancellations at American Airlines

As the delays continued to pile up, a Spirit spokesperson said in a statement that the airline was working to get back on track.

"We needed to make proactive cancelations to some flights across the network, but the majority of flights are still scheduled as planned. We understand how frustrating it is for our Guests when plans change unexpectedly, and we're working to find solutions."

Southwest Airlines, which also has a large presence in the Dallas area, had delays on 630, or 17% of its flights at 3 p.m. ET, but cancelations on just 44 of them.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

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  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees