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Tampa airport seeing American Airlines delays, cancellations pile up

The carrier’s nationwide slowdown has affected several dozen Tampa International Airport flights since this weekend.
Hundreds of American Airlines flights nationwide, including at least 50 in Tampa, have been canceled or delayed between Sunday and Monday due to a company-wide staffing shortage.
Hundreds of American Airlines flights nationwide, including at least 50 in Tampa, have been canceled or delayed between Sunday and Monday due to a company-wide staffing shortage. [ CHRIS URSO | Times ]
Published Nov. 1, 2021|Updated Nov. 1, 2021

A nationwide American Airlines flight slowdown has led to more than four dozen flight delays and cancellations at Tampa International Airport in the past two days, with more expected this week.

The airport saw 25 canceled American flights and eight delays on Sunday, according to an airport spokesperson. Another five flights were canceled and 13 delayed by midday Monday, according to the airline and airport.

Nationwide, American had canceled more than 2,342 flights between Oct. 29 and midday, chalking the disruptions up to staffing shortages and weather at its home hub, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

“To make sure we are taking care of our customers and providing scheduling certainty for our crews, we have adjusted our operation for the last few days this month by proactively canceling some flights,” American’s chief operating officer David Seymour wrote in a staff note on Saturday. “We are taking this measure to minimize any inconvenience as much as possible.”

American Airlines is the third largest carrier at Tampa International Airport, behind Southwest Airlines and Delta Airlines. More than 2.1 million travelers flew American through Tampa from January to September. The airport’s fifth largest carrier, Spirit Airlines, had its own timetable meltdown in August, with more than 1,000 flights canceled nationwide, including at least 175 in Tampa.

Related: After 157 cancellations, Tampa Spirit Airlines flights getting back on track

The airport is getting ready for what is expected to be a busy holiday travel season, preparing a new express curbside check-in lane for passengers without bags.

Related: Tampa airport sets express curbside check-in for flyers without checked bags

An American spokesperson said its flight schedule should be getting back on track as early as Monday, and that as of 1:30 p.m., no Tampa International Airport flights had been canceled for Tuesday. The carrier said some 1,800 flight attendants were expected to return to work starting Monday, with additional pilots and reservations agents slated to be hired by the holidays, according to Seymour’s letter to employees.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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