Hundreds of flights canceled as Spirit and American Airlines face operational struggles
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
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.
Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter!
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.
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.
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 Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees