DALLAS – American Airlines will extend flight reductions for another two weeks, cutting its scheduled flight load by one percent again in the first half of November.
According to an internal memo sent to airline managers Thursday morning, American has made gains in bolstering its on-time performance, but the struggling airline still has room for improvement before more flights can be added. An American Airlines spokesman said 31 flights per day out of 3,500 system-wide will be cut.
Here's a link where travelers can get more information if their flight is one of the ones cut.
In October, American also cut its flights by one percent. It's extending that reduced schedule through the second week of November.
“While we are experiencing improvements in several areas of the operation, we are not yet back to the level our customers deserve and expect from American,” the memo reads.
It then goes on to list areas where American has improved: On-time performance is up 16 percent from September, and cancellations and delays beyond one hour decreased 27 percent.
"They're gradually getting better," said Tom Parsons, CEO of Bestfares.com. "I think they're just looking for a little wiggle room."
The cancellation number would’ve been even better, had the company not been forced to recall 48 Boeing 757s to inspect why some seats had come loose. More than 60 flights were canceled because of that action.
The memo says American is reaching out to affected customers ahead of time and working “proactively to re-accommodate them earlier, and in a more timely fashion.”
It also says the airline will offer overtime and adjust employee scheduling to better serve customers. Tom Parsons, a travel expert who monitors fare prices, said the decision should have no major impact on travelers. He said this is a slow travel time anyhow, and a good move by American to extend the current schedule.
Parsons said he is booked on an American flight in a few weeks, and he says he'll just keep an eye on the schedule. Overall, he said this could actually be good for the airline and its passengers, because it should eliminate surprises.
The memo also notes that the reduction will only affect the first half of November –– flights during the holidays will not be changed.