American Airlines Cancels Over 100 Flights, Passengers Face Another Week of Disruption

Extreme weather related to Tropical Storm Elsa is causing further travel chaos for passengers on American Airlines flights after labor shortages already resulted in hundreds of flights being canceled in recent weeks.

More than 100 flights American Airlines that were due to depart on Tuesday or Wednesday have been canceled, according to the Flight Aware website.

Tropical Storm Elsa, which is set to make landfall in Florida on Wednesday before moving on to Georgia and South Carolina, has already caused major disruption including the closing of airports such as Tampa International Airport and Sarasota Bradenton International Airport.

A number of flights coming in and out of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) were in the batch of canceled flights, with an American Airlines spokesperson confirming to Newsweek that this was weather related.

On Friday, disruption at the Texas airport ahead of the July 4 weekend meant that DFW had the most flight cancelations of any airport in the world at that time, reported WFAA.

American Airlines had previously warned that there would be a number of canceled flights because of a lack of staff and an increase in customer demand.

Hundreds of flights were canceled across the country in one weekend in mid-June, with the airline warning that disruptions could continue until at least mid-July.

"The first few weeks of June have brought unprecedented weather to our largest hubs, heavily impacting our operation and causing delays, canceled flights and disruptions to crew member schedules and our customers' plans," an American Airlines spokesperson told Newsweek.

"That, combined with the labor shortages some of our vendors are contending with and the incredibly quick ramp-up of customer demand, has led us to build in additional resilience and certainty to our operation by adjusting a fraction of our scheduled flying through mid-July."

Despite the recent disruptions, which included a number of weather-related cancelations for Tropical Storm Elsa, American Airlines COO David Seymour wrote in a letter to employees, seen by Newsweek, that the airline recorded 99.3 percent and 99.4 percent of completed flights on June 3 and June 4, respectively.

"During the long weekend — July 1 through July 5 — together, we safely carried nearly 2.7 million customers on more than 26,000 combined mainline and regional flights," said Seymour. "That's nearly three times more customers than we carried in 2020 and more than double the number of flights. A truly impressive ramp up."

According to the latest update from the National Hurricane Center, Elsa is currently moving toward Florida at a speed of around 12 miles per hour.

Elsa is expected to hit Florida with maximum sustained winds of nearly 65 miles per hour, before weakening as it moves inland.

American Airlines
An American Airlines plane lands at the Miami International Airport on June 16, 2021 in Miami, Florida. Extreme weather related to Tropical Storm Elsa and labor shortages have resulted in hundreds of flights being canceled in recent weeks. Joe Raedle/Getty Images