Inspections leave many AA passengers stranded
CHICAGO About 500 flights have been canceled nationwide. Problems for passengers may last through Wednesday. Inspectors are checking out the wiring in their fleet of MD-80 aircraft. Tuesday's inspections of American Airlines planes are linked to the same issue that caused American to cancel hundreds of flights last month. Passengers that arrived at O'Hare found themselves in long lines looking to rebook their canceled flights on American. The boards showed part of the story but many of the canceled flights have already been removed from those boards. Coleman Gilchrist checked his flight to San Antonio online and it was fine. But Tuesday night, it was not. "We got t the luggage part. Then we found out from the attendant the flight has been canceled," he said. >> According to American Airlines, they are inspecting all of the MD-80 planes in their fleet. It involves technical wiring issues unrelated to flight safety. "It's a very technical detailed inspection and we're doing all possible to be in compliance and unfortunately we have to make some cancellations," said spokeswoman Mary Frances Fagan. It is the second time the last couple of weeks an airline has had to ground part of its fleet for safety inspections. Southwest, United and others have had to do it as well. For passengers it's a major inconvenience but there is not much they can do. "What do you do? It is not the airline's fault. Federal government shuts them down, they do the best they can," said passenger Kim Searle. According to American Airlines, each inspection takes anywhere from 15 minutes to six hours, depending on the changes they have to make. That resulted in 66 canceled flights at O'Hare Tuesday and they expect more Wednesday.