American Airlines Becomes Latest Carrier to Preemptively Cut Fall Flights

Customers who are affected will be contacted and offered alternative travel options or can request a full refund.

An American Airlines 737 in flight
Photo: Courtesy of American Airlines

American Airlines became the latest carrier to preemptively cut flights for the fall amid continued widespread cancellations for the airline industry.

The carrier canceled about 2% of its September schedule and 4.6% of its October flights, the airline confirmed to Travel + Leisure.

"American has taken steps to size our airline for the resources we have available and to build additional buffer into the remainder of our summer schedule," an American Airlines spokesperson told T+L on Friday. "Last month, American took proactive steps to add resiliency into our schedule by reducing overall September system capacity. These adjustments were made in markets with multiple frequencies — with the goal of moving customers to different flights. Then, last weekend, American made proactive adjustments to our October schedule. These changes are similar to other adjustments made in recent months as customers return to travel and the destinations most meaningful to them."

The airline noted it will still average more than 5,400 peak daily departures in the fall.

The spokesperson said customers who are affected by the cuts will be contacted and offered alternative travel options or can request a full refund.

The cuts come weeks after United Airlines took similar steps, cutting flights to Flagstaff, Ariz., and to Texarkana, Ark., in September and October, as well as ending its Los Angeles to San Diego route on Oct. 30.

It's been a summer of headaches for airlines across the world, with U.S. carriers generally blaming the cancellations on a combination of air traffic control problems and staffing shortages. On Friday alone, more than 800 flights had already been canceled and more than 2,100 flights delayed as problems continued to pile up, according to FlightAware. That followed more than 1,200 cancellations on Thursday.

This week, the Department of Transportation 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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