More Than 800 Spirit, American Airlines Flights Canceled
By Jason Hall
August 3, 2021
A Spirit spokesperson told ABC News the more than 800 cancellations and 1,000-plus delays were the result of a "perfect storm" of weather issues, staff shortages and crews reaching hour limits in which they were legally able to fly.
Spirit proactively canceled 313 flights, which accounted for 40% of its daily operation, in an attempt to get back on track and provide "breathing room" for crews and planes to get to the right locations, the spokesperson confirmed.
Frustrated passengers shared their displeasure on social media amid the cancelations and delays.
“We're working around the clock to get back on track in the wake of some travel disruptions over the weekend due to a series of weather and operational challenges," Spirit said in a statement obtained by ABC News. "We needed to make proactive cancellations to some flights across the network, but the majority of flights are still scheduled as planned."
American Airlines canceled 529 flights on Monday, which accounted for nearly 20% of its daily operation, a spokesperson confirmed to ABC News.
The spokesperson said the carrier is still recovering from inclement weather in the Dallas/Fort Worth area on Sunday (August 1), which forced at least 80 flights to divert to other airports and led to American Airlines repositioning planes and crews.
The cancelations are the most recent snag in air travel amid looser COVID-19 restrictions.
ABC News reports Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers screened more than 2.2 million individuals at U.S. airports on Sunday, which was the highest total since the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020.
All U.S. airlines and the Transportation Security Administration have struggled to meet staffing demands following a recent spike in air travel amid looser COVID-19 restrictions.
Thousands of employees were offered early retirements and buyouts amid a halt in air travel at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, but now airlines are desperate to once again fill those positions with a return to traveling.