By Emma Nitzsche 

8/3/21 Update: Continuing to live up to its name as “the worst airline,” American Airlines canceled and delayed an additional 3,000 flights Sunday due to continuing staff shortages. While the original cancelations reported in early July only represented 1% of American’s operations, the additional cancelations now total 12% of the airline’s mainline schedule.

The airline blamed the delays on adverse weather at its Texas hub, but only 40 of the canceled flights were due to severe thunderstorms. Despite clear skies on Tuesday, 9% of American’s flights were canceled due to staffing shortages and delays from the weekend. After spending hours in the airport, frustrated passengers took to social media to air their grievances against the poorly-run airline. Unfortunately, it appears American Airlines spent more lobbying for woke voting laws than actually flying planes this summer.

American Airlines first canceled nearly 950 flights through mid-July. The airline cited a lack of staff, weather-related disruptions, and other unrelated maintenance issues.

As the pandemic settles down and travel restrictions are disappearing, many airlines noticed an increase in the number of passengers booking flights. According to the Transportation Security Administration, more than 2.1 million travelers took to the skies on Sunday, the highest number so far this year.

The influx of passengers could not come at a worse time for airlines.

Last year, American Airlines laid off nearly 30,000 employees, ranging from flight attendants to pilots. Now that travel is increasing, the company is in desperate need of workers.

In addition to the lack of staff, bad weather prevented many planes from getting off the ground. For example, CNBC reported that American hubs in Charlotte and Dallas were afflicted by inclement weather for at least nine days in the first two weeks of June.

“The first few weeks of June have brought unprecedented weather to our largest hubs, heavily impacting our operation and causing delays, canceled flights, and disruptions to crew members’ schedules and our customers’ plans,” said a spokesperson for the airline told Travel + Leisure. “That, combined with the labor shortages some of our vendors are contending with, and the incredibly quick ramp-up of customer demand has led us to build an additional resilience and certainty to our operation by adjusting a fraction of our scheduled flying through mid-July.”

American expected in June to cancel approximately 50 to 80 flights a day and notified customers if they purchased a ticket on a canceled flight.

American Airlines is not alone in its plight.

Southwest Airlines was forced to delay and cancel thousands of flights over three days when the carrier ran into technological problems with its weather data. Although the company is working towards recovery, the event forecasted the future for other airline companies.

Before the pandemic, many airlines were able to bounce back quickly from unexpected events. George Ferguson, a senior aerospace analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence, noted that “if airlines were doing the normal increase in summer flying, with airplanes maintained in anticipation of the increased and pilots trained and ready, the recovery from weather interruptions and such would be much easier.”