Numerous cancellations and delays for American Airlines and Southwest Airlines continued from Friday into the weekend, according to a flight tracking website. Both airlines said inclement weather was behind cancellations, with American Airlines also citing staffing issues.
On Sunday morning, FlightAware said 710 American Airlines flights had been canceled and 135 were delayed. On Saturday, the company cancelled 543 flights, or 20% of total traffic, and delayed 437, or 16%. of flights.
According to the flight tracking website, Southwest Airlines had 187, or 5% of flights cancelled and 260, or 7% of flights delayed on Sunday. On Saturday, the company cancelled 87, or 2% of flights and delayed 764, or 23%, of flights.
Both airlines were responding to upset passengers on social media, with American Airlines citing staffing issues in some replies.
Southwest Airlines said in a statement to us that Friday's "delays were a result of the severe weather across parts of the country which you’ll notice on Friday’s weather map – including heavy rain, low cloud ceilings, and gusty winds for the eastern half of the country where we have large bases of operations."
American Airlines said they expect these last days in October to be challenging. Citing severe winds at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, creating "crosswind limitations that sharply reduced arrival capacity by more than half," American said in a statement that additional weather issues throughout their system, plus flight crew members who ended up out of their regular sequences on flights, all contributed to delays and cancelations over the weekend.
As a result, the company said it proactively canceled some flights and rebooked them for the same day in most cases to "minimize inconvenience" to customers and provide "scheduling certainty" for crews.
An airport weather warning was issued at DFW until 5 p.m. Friday due to strong wind gusts, which reached more than 30 mph. Wind speeds are expected to decrease Sunday to 5-15 mph.
American says that they expect 1,800 flight attendants to return to work, after being away on leave by Nov. 1. The remainder of their flight attendants are expected back by Dec. 1, the airline said Saturday. American also said they expect to have over 600 "new hire flight attendants" by the end of December.
American said they're also working to get 4,000 new team members to join the company at various airports, including in reservations, in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season.
FlightAware also reported that the U.S. airports experiencing the most flight delays and cancellations Sunday were Dallas-Fort Worth, Charlotte and Chicago O'Hare.
Southwest dealt with tumultuous weekend of nearly 2,400 canceled flights three weeks ago. Southwest said bad weather and air traffic control issues in Florida to start the weekend trapped planes and pilots out of position, causing cascading problems for flights across the country. The pilots' union blamed the airline for poor planning. Both Southwest and the union denied that the disruptions were due to a protest sickout or slowdown by employees.
American is headquartered in Fort Worth. Southwest is based in Dallas.