American Airlines Flight Cancellations and the Issues it Raises

American Airlines Flight Cancellations and the Issues it Raises


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American Airlines Flight Cancellations and the Issues it Raises


american-airlines-flight-cancellationsHundreds of American Airlines flight cancellations occurred yesterday as the airline suffered, according to CEO Tom Horton, “software issues.”  In a statement to flyers posted by video on the American Airlines website homepage, Horton explained that the hundreds of flight cancellations which inconvenienced thousands of travelers yesterday was the result of a software glitch that affected both the primary and secondary reservations systems.  The grounding came formally from the FAA but at the request of American Airlines, according to the Dallas Morning News.  Many passengers were stuck on planes and at airports.  Some say that lack of communication was the biggest complaint and many passengers were venting on Facebook and Twitter about what happened.

The worst part is that this is not the first time something like this has happened.

American Airlines Flight Cancellations Are Not Uncommon

According to Wired, such software glitches are becoming common among commercial airlines primarily because of advanced ticket processing, computerized tracking of baggage, and similar processes.  Delta Airlines in 2004, Spirit Airlines in 2001, and United Airlines in 2011 were cited as the most notable and recent groundings resulting from such “minor” glitches–I would hate to see what a major glitch would do.

This got me to thinking about the future of commercial air travel because clearly, the large commercial airlines have been plagued with problems in recent years.  Not only do such “minor” problems create major problems for those who still believe they must fly commercial sardine airlines, but these problems are often transferred to the taxpayers in less than noticeable ways.

For instance, I recently wrote about the American Airlines proposed merger with United Airlines, which will create the largest commercial air flight carrier in the world, but in that article I did not discuss the fact that American Airlines is also in bankruptcy court at the same time–in fact, some believe that the merger should not occur until the bankruptcy is settled. In fact, just five days ago, a Federal Judge disallowed Tom Horton’s proposed severance pay as the terms of the merger unfold.  Why?

Because the judge considers $20 Million to be contrary to a Federal law passed in 2005 relating to such pay agreements to top CEOs of bankrupt companies.  What does this have to do with the inconvenienced travelers?


Private Flights Equal Greater Convenience

Learjet 35A
Learjet 35A (Photo credit: InSapphoWeTrust)

Think about it.  Most people today choose commercial airlines today over private charter flights because of the price difference.  Indeed, the only thing that makes traveling in a sardine can worthwhile is the price of the ticket according to some.  What most of these travelers fail to consider is that in many cases, they could charter a private Lear or Cessna for their continental flights for not much more.  In exchange, they completely avoid security checks, baggage claims issues and waits, crowded terminals, and software glitches.  And really, the only reason the large commercial airlines are able to charge less is because every so many years, they file bankruptcy and shift their costs (and huge payments to company officers) to the taxpayers.

Think about this too.  It is only going to get worse.  As the large commercial airlines rely more and more on computerized systems, more such delays are going to be the result.  In addition, sequestration cuts, as I reported in previous articles, are going to add further inconveniences to passengers while creating less safe flying environments.  In fact, even American Airlines admits to such issues on their website.  For instance, according to American Airlines, if you are planning a flight to Honolulu, Hawaii, you should arrive two and a half hours early for your flight as a result of sequestration cutbacks. This is only the beginning.

I’m just getting the impression that the recent problem with American Airlines is only the start.  As the cost of charter flights continue to decrease and the problems associated with traveling commercially continue to increase, more people are going to book private jets and light turboprop aircraft rather than deal with the airlines.  If you are one of those considering making the change, why not give Charter Flight Group a call today and see how we can help.  We have expert private flight planners available 24 hours a day, every day to help you book your next flight.  What are you waiting for…another “minor” glitch?

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