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Another Day Of Travel Misery; American Airlines Cancels Another 250 Flights Nationwide

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- For a fourth straight day, American Airlines passengers have been forced to scramble to line up alternative routes to their destinations after the airline cancelled more than 200 flights on Monday.

Five arrivals or departures were cancelled at San Francisco International early Monday while one flight was impacted at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport.

Citing weather-related issues and staffing shortages, American cancelled 1,058 flights on Sunday or roughly one in every five of its originally scheduled flights. Hundreds of other flights had been cancelled on Friday and Saturday.

"As soon as I got here, I got a text message that my flight was cancelled -- they had no crew," traveler Luis Herrera told KPIX 5.

A spokesperson for American Airlines provided KPIX 5 with a statement released from Chief Operating Officer David Seymour, that reads in part:

"This week saw two days of severe winds in DFW, with gusts of up to 50 mph on Thursday, creating crosswind limitations that sharply reduced arrival capacity by more than half. This weather drove a large number of cancellations at DFW, as we could only use two runways instead of the usual five that handle our operation."

With additional weather throughout the system, our staffing begins to run tight as crew members end up out of their regular flight sequences. 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. We are taking this measure to minimize any inconvenience as much as possible. Most of the customers impacted by these changes are being rebooked the same day, and we apologize for having to make these changes."

Khai Tran told KPIX 5 he had dealt with two flight cancellations over the weekend. He says he never got a clear explanation as to why they were cancelled, all he got were automated text messages.

"Any kind of information would have been great," Tran said. "But like I said, I'm just getting texts day after day - this got cancelled, we're trying to re-book you. It's just a very robotic process. It is frustrating - just the unknown factor."

Fahad Kamal originally planned to fly American from Sacramento to Dallas on Sunday. That flight ended up getting cancelled.

So he booked a flight out of San Francisco International, rented a car and drove to the Bay Area only to learn that flight was also cancelled.

"I got the email that my flight had been cancelled," he said. "I'm frustrated but I don't know what to do and how to get out of here and just go home."

The airline said it plans to staff up their entire operation, starting Monday, according to the statement:

"Specifically, for flight attendants we have nearly 1,800 returning from leave starting Nov. 1 - and the remainder coming back by Dec. 1 - and will have 600+ new hire flight attendants on property by end of December. Additionally, hiring for our Airports is well underway and we anticipate 4,000 new team members joining us across the system in the fourth quarter. The hiring of pilots and within Tech Ops continues to take place, and we already began ramping up hiring in Reservations so more team members will be in place for the holiday season."

© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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