Most travelers in the U.S. know that air travel is a gamble these days. Since Christmas Eve, airlines in the country have been consistently canceling and delaying flights thanks to staffing shortages and winter weather hazards. On Jan. 20 alone, more than 4,000 U.S. flights were delayed and nearly 700 were canceled, with some of the biggest cuts coming from United, JetBlue, American, and Delta. To help mitigate this issue and prevent disruptions, some carriers have chosen to preemptively drop flights from their future schedules. Now, American Airlines seems to be cutting a number of flights for March. Read on to find out what major cities are being hit by the airline's cancellations.
American Airlines is planning to cut thousands of flights soon.
Just a few weeks into the new year, American Airlines has already chosen to drop thousands of flights from its upcoming schedule, according to the Business Journals. Per the news outlet, an analysis of flight data provided by Cirium Inc. indicated that the airline cut 10,621 of its March flights for this year between Jan. 3 and Jan. 10. This accounts for nearly 6.7 percent of the total number of American flights scheduled for that month.
Most of the dropped flights are from major cities.
Most of the flights cuts made for the month of March are targeted at American Airlines' most popular U.S. hubs, the carrier confirmed to the Business Journals. According to the news outlet, these four major cities are getting hit the hardest, in order: Dallas-Forth Worth, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Charlotte.
As of Jan. 3, American Airlines had 22,036 flights scheduled from the Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport in March. But by Jan. 10, the carrier's March schedule for this airport had dropped to 20,489—indicating that American had cut more than 1,500 flights from this one city. Chicago is set to lose 1,170 flights from the carrier, while Philadelphia had 833 flights dropped from its schedule. And for American's second largest hub, the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, 806 flights were slashed throughout the month of March.
The March cuts were made to better service traveler demand.
Brian Metham, an American Airlines spokesperson, told the Business Journals that the flights were dropped to better align the carrier's resources with demand. But he also noted that the airline is still providing a significant number of flights. "Even with these schedule adjustments, American continues to offer the most departures in the month of March among the major U.S. carriers," he said.
American had 156,531 flights scheduled for March as of Jan. 10, which shows the cuts made from the 167,152 flights it had scheduled for that same month as of Jan. 3, according to the Business Journals. This is higher than the 118,293 flights the carrier recorded last year during March, but lower than what American was flying prior the pandemic, with 176,177 flights in March 2019.
But American also has major flight cuts planned for February.
The upcoming March flight cancellations are just an extension of the cuts the airline has already proposed for the first half of 2022. At the beginning of the year, Simple Flying reported that American Airlines would be reducing the number of flights it operates from several major cities, starting in February. Various flight routes from Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas, and Chicago were all pared down in an effort to manage ongoing disruptions from staff shortages and winter weather conditions.
Of course, American hasn't announced a complete departure from any of these cities. "Unlike other airlines, American is not exiting any of the cities. As a result, impacted customers will have the ability to alter their itinerary and find something comparable through another hub or on a different flight time," Simple Flying explained