Flight cancelations on American Airlines

FAA inspects MD-80 aircraft
March 26, 2008 4:12:41 PM PDT
Many American Airlines passengers were scrambling Wednesday morning after learning their flights were canceled. The airline grounded about 300 flights nationwide while crews conducted safety inspections on its MD-80 planes.

Of the 300 canceled flights, close to 70 came from O'Hare, which made for one frustrating day for passengers, especially because many did what they were supposed to do: they called ahead of time. But once they got to the airport they found out their flight had been canceled.

The flight plan for several American Airlines passengers who arrived at O'Hare Wednesday was up in the air after they learned that their flights had been canceled.

"The way they dropped this news on everybody, just like a bombshell, no plane for you, too bad. I think that's very un-American for American Airlines," said Bob Keller, flight cancelled.

Keller is part of a tour group from Janesville, Wisconsin, and they're trying to get to San Antonio.

"We're in a bind," said Russell Streby. "So we've been standing here waiting for the tour director to try to get us another flight. Well, we got one going at 2:45. Instead of going straight to San Antonio, it's going to take us to Denver."

Several families hoping to enjoy their spring break were grounded as well.

"We have four children. And it's no fun. The kids are going crazy. They want to know what's going on. And it's a headache," said Michelle Schlomer, flight cancelled.

Bill Nordland and his daughter got to O'Hare at 5:30 Wednesday morning and hoped to get to Tampa by sometime Wednesday night.

"We lost a full day of vacation. We tried to move our return flight back a day but they won't let us do that," said Nordland.

American Airlines decided just Wednesday morning to cancel over 300 flights nationwide, including dozens at O'Hare, as they re-inspect wiring on their MD-80 aircraft.

A spokesperson for American said, "We are re-inspecting the MD-80s to make sure the wiring is installed and secured exactly according to the directive."

"You can't be mad about it. I would rather be safe than have something happen. But it's a pain," said Larissa Meier, flight cancelled.

"Just get on your cell phone and rebook," said another passenger, which is exactly what dozens of stranded passengers tried to do. And it took a while to get through to american Airlines. After all, American is the nation's largest airline.

The latest from the airline is that 20 of those MD-80s are back into service. They are going to be working all night and the airline does not expect any flight cancellations for Thursday


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