American Airlines is the last carrier to announce cuts to its schedule – mostly from its Philadelphia hub – even as demand for flights continues to soar.
American, like many other airlines, downsized at the start of the pandemic and is now struggling to keep operations running smoothly.
“American has taken steps to size our airline based on the resources we have and to create additional reserve in the remainder of our summer schedule. Last month, American took proactive steps to add resiliency to our schedule by reducing overall system capacity in September by approximately 2%,” a company statement said. “These adjustments were made on multi-frequency markets, with the aim of moving customers to different flights.”
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According to American, it is cutting hundreds of flights at its Philadelphia hub in the coming months – about 3% of its schedule there in September, or about 7 flights a day, and 5% of its schedule there in October. , or approximately 13 flights per day.
The airline said it will contact customers whose flights are affected to make alternative arrangements. Customers who choose not to travel on a new itinerary may be eligible for a refund.
Other airlines are making cuts
The American is not the only one to have to reduce his flights this summer.
In June, United Airlines announced it would cut 12% of its flights to Newark this summer, canceling about 50 daily departures from July 1.
JetBlue has also cut its schedule by about 10% this summer, and Delta has undertaken a “strategic reduction” in flights, canceling about 100 flights a day from July 1 to August 7.
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American Airlines’ previously announced it would end service to its regional partners in four cities (Islip and Ithaca, New York; Toledo, Ohio and Dubuque, Iowa) in September, citing a shortage of available pilots.
European airports are also in trouble
Travel problems aren’t just limited to American skies this summer, either.
Long queues and canceled flights have plagued passengers across Europe, and major airports including Heathrow in London and Schiphol in Amsterdam have announced caps on departing passengers throughout the summer. In fact, on Wednesday, Schiphol announced that it would extend those limits until October.
What passengers are entitled to when their flights are changed
Passengers whose flights are canceled are usually right to a refund in the United States, but policies are less clear when flights are delayed. The Department for Transport technically requires airlines to compensate passengers who experience a “significant” delay, but has not yet defined how long a delay will qualify as significant.
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However, the department announcement Wednesday that it is seeking public comment as it works to clarify rules around airline compensation and make it easier for passengers to make claims and receive refunds if their travel is disrupted.