American Airlines cancels hundreds of flights, including dozens from Chicago's O'Hare airport

CHICAGO -- It has been another frustrating weekend for air travelers as American Airlines has been forced to cancel hundreds of flights, including dozens from Chicago's O'Hare airport.

The airline says severe winds at its Dallas-Fort Worth hub forced it to cancel 342 flights alone on Friday, CNN reported.

The ripple effect carried into Saturday afternoon canceling another 542 American Airlines flights canceled nationwide, which amounts to 20% of its total schedule as of 11 p.m.. Another 403, or 15%, were also delayed, according to Flight Aware.

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American says most of its customers were able to be re-booked on the same day.

Earlier this month, Southwest Airlines canceled more than 2,000 flights, blaming weather and air traffic control issues.

At Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, 17%, or 53, American Airlines flights have been canceled so far Saturday, with another 33 delayed, according to Flightaware.com. Another 34 were also canceled from O'Hare Friday.

American Airlines released a statement Saturday regarding the canceled flights:



"We continue to welcome back more and more customers as travel returns, and our team has done an incredible job delivering day in and day out.

Of course, not every moment has been easy and these few days to close out October will be challenging. This week saw two days of severe winds in DFW, with gusts of up to 50 mph on Thursday, creating crosswind limitations that sharply reduced arrival capacity by more than half. This weather drove a large number of cancellations at DFW, as we could only use two runways instead of the usual five that handle our operation.

With additional weather throughout the system, our staffing begins to run tight as crew members end up out of their regular flight sequences. To make sure we are taking care of our customers and providing scheduling certainty for our crews, we have adjusted our operation for the last few days this month by proactively canceling some flights. We are taking this measure to minimize any inconvenience as much as possible. Most of the customers impacted by these changes are being rebooked the same day, and we apologize for having to make these changes.

Our team members are continuing to take great care of our customers and we anticipate getting through this brief irregular ops period quickly with the start of a new month.

The good news moving forward is that we continue to staff up across our entire operation and we will see more of our team returning in the coming months. Specifically, for flight attendants we have nearly 1,800 returning from leave starting Nov. 1 - and the remainder coming back by Dec. 1 - and will have 600+ new hire flight attendants on property by end of December. Additionally, hiring for our Airports is well underway and we anticipate 4,000 new team members joining us across the system in the fourth quarter. The hiring of pilots and within Tech Ops continues to take place, and we already began ramping up hiring in Reservations so more team members will be in place for the holiday season.

Our team is extraordinarily resilient, and we cannot thank each and every team member enough for all you are doing to take care of our customers as well as each other."


ABC7 Chicago contributed to this report.