The recent problems with air travel have continued into the new year. As winter storms disrupt operations and rising COVID infections lead to staff shortages, every major U.S. airline has been forced to cancel hundreds to thousands of flights daily for nearly four weeks now. On Jan. 9 alone, United Airlines had to cancel 180 flights, Alaska Airlines cut 111 and American Airlines canceled 77, according to dating tracking service Flight Aware. But these are just the last minute cancellations. Some airlines are now trying to stay ahead of the chaos by cutting their schedules ahead of time. American Airlines has even decided to cancel flights from six major cities from February. Read on to find out which cities will be affected by this decision.
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In an effort to manage ongoing disruptions, American Airlines will soon reduce the number of flights it operates from six major cities, Simple Flying reported. Starting in February, flights from Los Angeles to El Paso will be reduced from three a day to just one, while the Los Angeles to Denver service will be cut from a maximum of three daily flights to just six weekly flights. Flights from Phoenix, Dallas and Chicago will also be affected next month. American’s service from Phoenix to Long Beach, California will drop from three daily flights to ten weekly flights, while Dallas to Columbia, Missouri and Chicago to Baltimore will both lose three daily flights in favor of 12 flights a week.
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While certain cities will experience route reductions in February, American Airlines has also announced flight restrictions for March. The airline’s flights from New York to Raleigh will go from five a day to just three a day, while both Phoenix to Santa Fe and Miami to Cleveland will lose two daily flights in favor of just one flight a day in March. All in all, six major cities will be affected by American Airlines’ cuts in February and March: Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Phoenix.
These flight cuts may go unnoticed by most passengers, as American Airlines doesn’t drop flights altogether from any of the affected cities. “Unlike other airlines, American does not leave any of the cities. As a result, affected customers will have the option to change their itinerary and find something similar via a different hub or at a different flight time,” explains Simple Flying. “In addition, customers who choose not to accept an alternative itinerary and their flight is canceled can get their money back.”
That’s not the only good news. According to Simple Flying, some flight discounts will only last a few weeks. Flights from Los Angeles to El Paso and Denver will be cut to once a day in February, but American Airlines is currently scheduled to return to both cities twice a day in March.
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American Airlines’ domestic cuts may seem small, but in early December, the airline announced plans for a large number of international cancellations. According to USA today, American Airlines stops all flights to Edinburgh, Scotland; Shannon, Ireland; and Hong Kong in the summer of 2022. And several European destinations that were offered earlier in 2019 will not return this summer: Berlin, Budapest, Dubrovnik, Prague and Reykjavik. The airline is discontinuing service to most of these international destinations due to an ongoing shortage of Boeing 787 aircraft.
“Boeing is still unable to deliver the 787s we have on order, including as many as 13 aircraft that would be in our fleet this winter,” said American’s chief revenue officer. Vasu Raja said in an internal letter to employees, USA today. “Without these widebodies, we simply cannot fly as much internationally as we had planned for next summer or in the summer of 2019.”
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