American Airlines Cutting 31,000 Flights Ahead of Holiday Season

The cuts represent about 16% of the airline's November schedule.

American Airlines will schedule 31,000 fewer flights in November, the latest fall cuts to hit the struggling airline industry that has dealt with months of mass cancellations and disruptions.

The cuts represent about 16% of the airline's November schedule, an American Airlines spokesperson confirmed to Travel + Leisure. It comes on the heels of the airline's move to cancel about 2% of its September schedule and 4.6% of its October schedule.

"These adjustments are in line with our approach to our network and schedule planning throughout the year," the spokesperson told T+L. "Preliminary schedules are published 331 days in advance and then adjustments are made closer in based on the schedule we intend to operate. We are now loading schedule adjustments approximately 100 days in advance, which is in line with how we adjusted our schedule in 2019 prior to the pandemic."

An American Airlines airplane on a tarmac
Courtesy of American Airlines

Overall, American expects its full-year capacity to be 7.5% to 9.5% lower than pre-pandemic in 2019. Its third quarter capacity alone is expected to be down about 8% to 10%, compared to the same time period in 2019.

American is not alone in dealing with disruptions with the United States seeing more than 100,000 flights canceled so far this year and nearly a million flights delayed. But American has canceled the most flights among major U.S. carriers with more than 19,000 in total.

Earlier this summer, United Airlines took similar steps by cutting flights to Flagstaff, Ariz., and to Texarkana, Ark., in September and October, as well as planning to end its Los Angeles to San Diego route on Oct. 30.

But the silver lining is both airfare prices as well as flight delays are starting to improve.

To combat consumer headaches, the Department of Transportation has proposed a rule change that would require airlines to issue a refund if a domestic flight is delayed by more than three hours.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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