Unexpected Storms Diverted 100 American Airlines Flights, Cancel Hundreds
On Wednesday, severe unexpected storms near Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport triggered 100 American Airlines flight diversions and hundreds of cancellations, which extended into Thursday's schedule.
According to flight tracking website FlightAware, more than 320 American Airlines flights had been canceled by midafternoon Thursday, accounting for 10% of the airline's schedule. By Thursday afternoon, almost 700 US planes had been canceled. By Thursday afternoon, more than 4,500 planes had been delayed.
American canceled over 370 flights on Wednesday. According to FlightAware data, almost 1,200 US flights were canceled on Wednesday.
DFW is American Airlines' primary hub.
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According to FlightAware, Southwest Airlines, based in Dallas, had approximately 250 cancellations on Wednesday. On Thursday, Southwest canceled approximately 100 flights.
American Airlines planned for thunderstorms in the forecast south of the airport on Wednesday afternoon, according to Chief Operating Officer David Seymour. However, another wave caught everyone off guard.
"These storms then regenerated, resulting in a completely new and unexpected line of storms north of the airport. For three hours, all arrivals at DFW were halted due to unexpected storm activity "Seymour stated in a message to staff obtained by CNN Travel.
One hundred American Airlines planes were diverted, and on Wednesday, the airline proactively canceled all remaining flights into and out of DFW.
"DFW airport had gone 67 days without measurable rain, the second-longest streak on record; weather like this can disrupt our operations. This was the worst storm we'd seen at DFW this summer, and to make matters worse, there was no warning "Seymour explained.
He complimented American Airlines employees for their efforts in recovering from the weather interruption, noting that cancellations had a "big impact on our passengers."
"Canceling flights is a last resort," Seymour said in a memo to employees. "However, doing so in advance – even if just with a tiny window – gives customers the best opportunity to change their plans and prevent last-minute problems at the airport."
DFW Airport announced on Thursday that normal operations have resumed.
The harsh weather this summer has compounded other operational concerns, like personnel issues at airports and airlines, which are already difficult.
The demand that was shattered by the epidemic has come roaring back, and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has been working to address interruptions in air travel in response to this demand.
There were numerous flight cancellations and delays over the previous weekend, with Friday being the worst day for cancellations since the middle of June.