The technical problems that canceled hundreds of American Airlines flights in the past week are becoming more regular as airlines consolidate and “patch together” their systems instead of creating a new cohesive one, an aviation expert told the Dayton Daily News.
American Airlines canceled or delayed at least 745 total flights after two “technical issues” on Thursday and Sunday at PSA Airlines, a regional carrier for American based in Dayton.
About 675 flights serviced by American Airlines regional carrier PSA were canceled Thursday and Friday, followed by another 70 more after a second “technical issue” Sunday morning. Flights Monday were also on a reduced schedule until noon. At least 30 flights through the Dayton International Airport were affected since Thursday.
Both issues at PSA Airlines are related to a crew scheduling and tracking system, which the Dayton-based airline uses to assign crews to each aircraft, Katie Cody, a spokeswoman with American Airlines told the Charlotte Observer.
American Airlines has dispatched a group of technical workers to PSA’s headquarters in Dayton to resolve the “technical issue,” according to media reports.
“It isn’t really a glowing recommendation of the confidence level American has in the carrier,” aviation expert Jay Ratliff said.
While Ratliff recognized that PSA is receiving a lot of negative national attention as the airline attempts to take care of the problems, he said it won’t be remembered negatively forever.
“They’ve been doing so well for so long that they’re just flying under the radar,” he said.
The quickly growing airline doesn’t have a history of issues, he said, and while passengers may remember this experience, others nationally will not.
“A week from now people will forget about it, especially when another airline comes up with another computer issue,” Ratliff said.
What to do if your flight is canceled
1. Check for an online reroute that arrives or departs at different airports with different regional carriers
2. Ask about interline agreements that allow you to switch airlines when one has cancelled flights.
3. Don’t be picky. Let the airline know if you’re willing to fly to a different airport in the state that isn’t experiencing as many issues.
American Airlines isn’t the only one to experience computer issues, with Delta, Southwest, United and Allegiant also suffering big cancellations and delays due to computer issues in recent years.
American Airline flights were first halted at 4 p.m. Thursday after problems emerged at PSA’s local operations center in Dayton. The outage affected about 4 percent of American’s global flight operations, primarily shorter routes from its hub in Charlotte, N.C., American Airlines officials said.
“We understand that these cancellations have been frustrating for our customers, and we are doing everything in our power to get things back to normal as quickly as possible,” American spokesman Ross Feinstein said.
With the summer months being some of the most traveled times for vacation and business, Ratliff said flights across airlines are at a 90 percent load capacity right now, making it hard to put displaced passengers on later flights.
“We’re talking about a lot of displaced passengers that we can look at two or three days before everyone’s going to make it to their destination,” he said.
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