American Airlines cancels PSA flights, stranding thousands

Last Updated Jun 15, 2018 1:20 PM EDT

Thousands of airline passengers were stranded overnight in North Carolina's Charlotte-Douglas International Airport after technical troubles caused a regional carrier to abruptly cancel hundreds of flights.

PSA Airlines, a subsidiary of American Airlines, canceled 275 flights Thursday and around 400 flights Friday around the nation due to the technical issue. Charlotte's airport was especially hard hit, with nearly half of its daily scheduled flights canceled.

The technical difficulties were also being felt in Ohio, where more than a dozen outbound flights were canceled, along with at least five arriving flights.

The director of aviation for Dayton International Airport told local news station WHIOTV that American Airlines would not fully recover from the cancellations until Sunday. 

Overall, the outage has affected about 4 percent of American's global flight operations, mostly shorter routes from the carrier's hub in Charlotte, according to news reports.  

Distressed travelers took to social media to post scenes from the airport, with local media reporting that rental-car companies were running out of vehicles. 

The airline's efforts to accommodate passengers on American flights and other regional carriers were found lacking by some customers who expressed their displeasure online.

One unhappy mother set the scene in a tweet: "So missed flight, clothes soaked in breastmilk, missing luggage, in serious pain, no place to sleep, screaming baby in another state. We've all got important reasons to be home - you can do better than this, right?"

By Friday morning, many stranded passengers complained the airline was not reacting quickly enough.

"Quickly?" one traveler tweeted with a photo of hundreds of passengers in the airport. "This was over four hours ago."

The problem with a system that affects crew scheduling and dispatch operations has been resolved, with service at the airport expected to resume at noon.

Based in Dayton, Ohio, PSA handles 800 flights each day from across the east coast to nearly 100 locations. 

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report