By Nathalie Voit


American Airlines Group Inc. canceled an additional 390 flights Monday morning, blaming bad weather and thin staffing on the now four-day long cancellation spree that has extended into November.


According to flight-tracking service FlightAware, about 13% of American’s flight schedule, or roughly 390 flights, were canceled as of 3:00 p.m. ET Monday. In Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport alone, 52 American Airlines flights, or 15% of the carrier’s schedule, were canceled at 3 p.m. ET, with another 54 flights delayed. 


The Fort-Worth, Texas-based carrier told FOX Business it is still experiencing “some residual operational recovery” from the weekend when severe weather and staffing shortages prompted the airline to cancel hundreds of flights preemptively. From Friday through Sunday, American Airlines canceled over 1,900 flights.


“With additional weather throughout the system, our staffing begins to run tight as crew members end up out of their regular flight sequences,” American told CNN in a statement.


American Chief Operating Officer David Seymour said in a memo the carrier is “proactively canceling” flights to ensure “scheduling certainty for our crews” following severe weather at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and other major hubs that began on Thursday. 


Seymour insisted the disruptions would subside on Monday following the arrival of nearly 1,800 flight attendants on Nov. 1. Nevertheless, the airline continued to experience significant cancellations today, prompting some to point out that staffing shortages were primarily to blame for the carrier’s troubles. 


According to internal documents obtained by the Associated Press, about two in three American cancellations on Sunday stemmed from a shortage of flight attendants, with nearly all of the remaining cancellations due to a lack of pilots.


The ongoing service disruptions are similar to what Southwest experienced just a few weeks ago. A series of staffing and scheduling shortfalls initially triggered by bad weather caused a company-wide meltdown that cost the carrier $75 million.  


The internal documents reveal the many ways in which the airline industry is still struggling to operate at normal capacity following industry-wide pandemic-related staffing cuts and leaves of absence. When travel demand unexpectedly took off in the fall, many airlines were unprepared to deal with the slew of customers, which proved to be more difficult than expected.


According to Seymour, American is in the process of hiring an additional 4,000 new employees to meet the demand for the holiday season. 


“We want that flying to get done, but we don’t want tickets sold that can’t be fulfilled,” said Capt. Dennis Tajer, an American Airlines pilot and spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association. “Are they biting off more they can they chew?”