LATEST UPDATE: American Airlines said on Wednesday that it's close to returning to normal operations after a week of heavy cancellations at one of its regional affiliates. A technical glitch that first hit American Eagle affiliate PSA Airlines on Thursday (June 14) has now resulted in about 2,800 cancellations, American says. (See the latest update here)
ORIGINAL POST: Thousands of American Airlines customers have had their travel plans disrupted because of a computer glitch at a regional affiliate that has dragged on for days.
American has apologized for the fault at its PSA Airlines subsidiary, but has warned disruptions were likely to continue for PSA-operated flights "over the next few days."
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All told, more than 1,100 flights have been canceled since Thursday (June 14) because of the problem, according to a Bloomberg News tally. American's hub in Charlotte has shouldered the bulk of the disruption, though the carrier's hubs at Philadelphia and Washington Reagan National also have been hit with glitch-related cancellations.
The issue is specific to American's PSA regional carrier, which flies 50- to 76-seat regional jets that feed passengers to American's hubs. The glitch is not affecting any of American's "mainline' flights or flights on other partners, but passengers scheduled to connect to or from those flights via PSA might be affected if their connecting flights are canceled.
Social media feeds have lit up with complaints, with some American customers saying they've been stuck for days waiting for open seats after cancellations to their originally scheduled PSA fights.
#americanairlines will strand you in Charlotte having cancelled 600 flights since Tuesday. No rental cars...ppl have been stuck for days..don’t do it.- Jacob Hennings (@HenningsJacob) June 16, 2018
"We do not know when this is going to be fixed," American spokeswoman Katie Cody told The Charlotte Observer, which covers American's hardest-hit hub in Charlotte. "We're incredibly sorry."
"This could not happen at a worse possible time,' Henry Harteveldt, a San Francisco-based travel analyst at Atmosphere Research Group, added to the Observer, noting the disruption comes at the beginning of the peak summer travel season.
Lines ballooned at the Charlotte airport's car rental agencies as fliers looked for other ways to get to their destinations, according to the Observer. The newspaper added that American picked up the tab for about 800 hotel rooms for stranded passengers.
It was not clear exactly when things might return to normal for American customers whose itineraries include flights on PSA.
PSA's technical issue involved problems with its crew scheduling and tracking system, according to the Dallas Business Journal.
"We're having issues getting the crews assigned to the planes correctly," Cody said to the Observer on Monday.
American posted a formal statement to its website on Tuesday, saying the computer issue had been "stabilized' but that PSA schedules would be reduced this week to give more slack to the recovery effort.
PSA flies about 800 flights a day under American's regional American Eagle brand, accounting for about 12% of American's entire daily schedule.
The lingering problems forced PSA to cancel all of its flights Tuesday (June 19) morning "as it works through schedules, getting aircraft and crews where they need to be to resume operations,' American said in its statement.
"PSA will operate a reduced scheduled over the next few days as it restores full service,' American added.
The company also offered a formal apology to affected customers.
"We understand that these cancellations have been frustrating for our customers, and teams from PSA and American have been working around the clock to get things back to normal as quickly as possible,' American said in its statement, "We are rebooking passengers and American's Customer Relations department continues to reach out all affected customers. We encourage our customers traveling on PSA-operated flights over the next few days to check their flight status at aa.com or on the American Airlines app.'
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