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American Airlines canceling hundreds of flights through mid-July in part due to labor shortages

American Airlines is canceling hundreds of flights through at least mid-July as the company strives to maintain service in the midst of massively increasing travel demand while the coronavirus pandemic continues to recede in the United States, according to a spokesperson from the airline. ( More...

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WIllard Kramer 13
American worked around the requirement of their Pandemic buyout of not letting go of staff by pushing early retirement and early exits for many of their staff. Now they find themselves short of staff. There was reason for that loan requirement. Shortage of staff is entirely on the can't think past their nose management.
I am wondering if the shortage is due to recurrent training requirements and limited simulator capacity (or check airmen)
John Steiner 2
Or weather that actually hasn't happened yet.
last night on one of the news programs they went into a little more detail on the problem and the "shortage" it turns out, american had a lot more pilots,flight crews,ground personnel and baggage handlers,take early buyouts,leaves of absence, or retirements than they had anticipated..its not that they "overshot the runway" so to speak with adding flights,its that the passenger traffic picked up much more quickly than had been expected..hiring new flight crews takes a lot of time,with scheduling interviews,scheduling training and making sure those accepted have the right qualifications..hiring ground personnel still takes training,4-6 weeks for ticketing etcetera,and a lot less for baggage handlers..with all of the recent events surrounding the "abuse" of airline personnel,i dont think there will be people waiting in the wings to either be "rehired", or come on as a "newbie"..these are not the days gone by of applying and applying to actually get and interview for an airline position of any kind,where the pay was really good, the health and other benefits were really good,and the competiton was stiff!!
Shawn Salter 7
They also need to stop treating clients like cattle and they may have better-behaved passengers. I remember flying as a passenger in the 80s, when I was treated like I was important. Now I'm treated like an annoyance.
jptq63 2
Mary - thanks for your info from other sources than the article about the number of people issues; this I did not see reading the article. Also, given your estimates for 4 - 6 weeks for various training time (after a person is hired) vs. the time AA in advance AA added scheduled flights (I do not know how far in advance they add flights, but I am guessing at least 3 - 6 months in advance) I would think AA could still have anticipated the need to hire or get vendor contracts established. Full understand about pilot training (both new and existing) and this is also something AA (and other airline) should be able to anticipate pretty clearly in advance as well; i.e. via example: 1 simulator trains 2 pilots per day max; need 100 pilots trained to fly flights scheduled in 30 days; can this be done with the 1 and only simulator available? ... This case 40 pilots short. Yes, maybe example changes by expect 2nd simulator 5 days from today... but this is still pretty simple demand planning for any business. Granted, the airline business has different choke points across its operations. Maybe the simplest thought here is AA OVER promised and is UNDER delivering and the other airlines are doing a better job, for the most part so far.
jptq63 7
As I comment on a similar prior squawk, per the AA jobs webpage, it only shows 122 total jobs postings for the company worldwide (granted maybe they have a different secret application for pilots...); I sure would have thought for a company as large as AA to have this "labor" shortage, they would be posting a bunch more job openings and even hiring people to actually "train or teach" how to perform the job task(s). I guess doing some simple research work such as reviewing how many job postings (note, no idea how many people actually are applying to the listed open positions...) a company lists and asking a company if what percentage of the 122 jobs are causing the problems would make it into the article or I could just be offending someone with doing work, research, logic, etc.; never know now....
wylann 4
If you read the article, most of the labor shortages they are noting are at suppliers and vendors, which makes it hard to get parts.

"... combined with the labor shortages some of our vendors are contending with..."

But I guess I might be offending you by actually doing work, and reading the actual article.
haha..eanytime something has a CNN feed ,I don't read it at all. Misleading headlines.
Thanks Wylann--now I know what the article REALLY says w/o having to cut through the BS.
jptq63 1
wylann - fair points and I did go back to re-read. Now to question a bit how many is "some" (I usually think less than 30% of the issue as some; i.e. using my view this means 70% AA's fault still. Subjective define "sum")? Also, generally a customer pays a business to take care of them, as they have the expertise to run their business, so for AA to try to blame "some" of their vendors kinda indicates they do not have good choices for vendors and a customer does not care about AA vendors issues, they should not impact the customer. Also, would the fact that their vendors are unable (i.e. no good choices? What vendors does Delta, SWA, United -Pilots only per their comments-... use?) to provide AA what they need, would not AA look at bringing in those key jobs that are causing them to loose business, so the airlines runs properly? I would argue you are more correct if "sum" mean more than 50% of the issue, but I would then argue AA management would replace the under performing vendors with, I suggest, vendors the other airlines use that are not seemingly causing these issues or some other solution that works. While it has been a while since my last flight, I still actually tend to like AA from most of my travels. Yes, I did read the article the first time and will try to help clearly establish how / why better on my comments. I do view this as fair discourse and as I have indicated before, I would rather be corrected than crash and burn.
MSU Sparty 5
AA is the worst. They game the system when it comes to customer service. They code cancellations and delays as weather related when they are not just so they can refuse to pay compensation. The gate agents and ticket counter and phone Res agents are angry and uninformed and rude. They are destined to fail and fail big.
Antonello Davi -4
wide range of accusations. I can tell you as a fact, AA does not try to blame the weather to get out of compensation. Just because you are looking out the window to a sunny sky does not mean that there is weather in other areas that affect your flight. As for the agents; contact AA about specific circumstances where the Agent is "angry, uninformed and rude". If you were to come up to me with the attitude of blaming weather for your delay or cancellation in a manner that is not becoming; I would change my response from warm to defensive. "AA is the worst" Sounds like a teenager response. Nothing specific
dcmeigs 7
The statement that AA is the worst is to some extent verifiable. JD Powers ranked the eight largest North American airlines a few months ago and AA came as the least satisfactory of the US airlines. Only Air Canada scored lower. My personal experience has been so profoundly horrible that I will no longer consider using the airline. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result, then traveling again with AA would just be insane.
Worst case example of when AA said flight cancelled because of weather. Austin-Dallas-London - AA cancelled Austin Dallas leg 4 hours before take off. Reason - weather.
Said couldn't get me out of Austin for 3 days! But said if could get to Dallas could keep leg to London. I changed to later flight going out of Dallas to London (AA "graciously" didn't charge me a change fee per the agent!), no other carriers had open seats seats to Dallas since so many from the cancelled AA flight were scrambling to get out, so took the express bus to downtown Dallas and Uber to DFW. Not a bit of bad weather along the way. And an international flight is not one that jus t comes in and turns around - so can't say incoming flight had bad weather somewhere along the way.This is just 1 example of many where AA flat out lied. Neighbor retired from AA and said it happens. I agree - American is the worst. No, that's not a teenage response That's why if I have no choice and must fly AA, I always buy the Allianze flight insurance offered on the AA reservations process at the end when paying.
weecosse 2
I wonder why they are stating that the changes are thought July. My wife made reservations last month for flights in September and those have been re-scheduled twice. We expect those will be reshuffled too.
Everyone that has commented on it around here is asking if American knew it was going to have a shortage, why did they even schedule the flights to begin with!?!

Was it 'Duh, we can't fly 100 flights a day, but we want to make it look like we're up and running 100%, so let's schedule 150 a day!'

This is not playing well. Like when Northwest had so many strikes. Sure, they might have been warranted because their management were major asses, but they burned so many people, and many of them never went back. I had all the luck to arrive at an airport, and be told 'Northwest is on strike, and you might not be able to leave'. Untied ended up getting me to Boston via Chicago, with a huge layover. I was not happy, but I had planed for a day grace just to explore Boston. Didn't expect I'd end up hustling for a flight to get there. The return flight was also the day after they came back, and the DC-9 we were supposed to be taking had been sitting in BOS the whole time. One slat section didn't retract on takeoff so it wasn't without drama. It added to the narration of that trip, for sure. A few people never made it because of the strike...
what the heck does your past experience have to do with the article? RC, at least you are consistent with your responses. All over the road.
mikeenderle 1
Very few companies have labor shortages. Many have reasonable wage and positive incentive shortages. This effort to make an entire society of service-level skills consumers isn't working.
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