Filed Under: Business

Airlines cut tens of thousands of November flights amid staff shortages

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Passengers who have already booked flights to go home for the holidays should double check itineraries to make sure they still exist, as several major airlines have cut thousands of scheduled flights in November and around Thanksgiving due in part to staff shortages. It’s been a rocky few years for the industry. The COVID-19 pandemic put a major strain on airports, and airlines continue struggling to hire.

Earlier this month, more than 1,000 flights were delayed daily in America. London’s Heathrow Airport placed a cap on the number of passengers per day to alleviate the problem. In July, the airport asked airlines to stop selling summer tickets and imposed a limit of 100,000 passengers departing each day as it struggled to cope with a surge in travel after the end of COVID-19 travel restrictions. The cap will last until Sep. 11, 2022, and Heathrow said it is yielding positive results. The cap has reportedly resulted in fewer last-minute cancellations and more timely departures and baggage delivery.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttiegeg said “action will be taken” to reduce the number of delays due to airlines’ staff shortages. On Wednesday, he said his agency is ready to take enforcement actions against airlines that don’t perform. On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Buttigieg said as the demand for travel continues, the Department of Transportation can and will enforce federal requirements. However, the government has limits on what it can impose on airlines so what that action looks like is unclear.

According to data from Cirium, an aviation analytics company, American Airlines cut 30,949 flights that were originally scheduled to operate in November. Delta Air Lines also confirmed it is trimming 4,500 flights from its November schedule, and United Airlines announced it would cut about 15,000 flights in November, a 10% schedule reduction for the month according to Cirium data. Many cuts are being made to accommodate staffing levels amid the hiring shortage. The airlines hope the move will help relieve travelers’ aches at the airport come Thanksgiving.

Karah Rucker: IF YOU’VE ALREADY BOOKED YOUR FLIGHT TO GO HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS…
CHECK YOUR FLIGHT NUMBER.
SEVERAL MAJOR AIRLINES ARE CUTTING THOUSANDS OF SCHEDULED FLIGHTS IN NOVEMBER AND AROUND THANKSGIVING.
IT’S BEEN A ROCKY FEW YEARS FOR THE INDUSTRY.
THE PANDEMIC PUTTING A MAJOR STRAIN ON AIRPORTS.
AND THE STRUGGLES TO HIRE CONTINUE.
EARLIER THIS MONTH…MORE THAN A THOUSAND FLIGHT DELAYS WERE STILL OCCURRING DAILY.
SOME DRASTIC STEPS- LIKE CAPS ON PASSENGERS PER DAY – HAVE HELPED WITH INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS OUT OF LONDON’S HEATHROW AIRPORT.
TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY PETE BUTTIEGEG SAYS ACTION WILL BE TAKEN.
BUT THE GOVERNMENT HAS LIMITS ON WHAT IT CAN IMPOSE ON AIRLINES SO WHAT THAT ACTION LOOKS LIKE IS UNCLEAR.
AMERICAN SLASHED 31-THOUSAND NOVEMBER FLIGHTS.
UNITED CUT ITS NOVEMBER SCHEDULE BY TEN PERCENT.
MANY CUTS ARE BEING MADE TO ACCOMMODATE STAFFING LEVELS AMID THE ONGOING SHORTAGE.

Passengers who have already booked flights to go home for the holidays should double check itineraries to make sure they still exist, as several major airlines have cut thousands of scheduled flights in November and around Thanksgiving due in part to staff shortages. It’s been a rocky few years for the industry. The COVID-19 pandemic put a major strain on airports, and airlines continue struggling to hire.

Earlier this month, more than 1,000 flights were delayed daily in America. London’s Heathrow Airport placed a cap on the number of passengers per day to alleviate the problem. In July, the airport asked airlines to stop selling summer tickets and imposed a limit of 100,000 passengers departing each day as it struggled to cope with a surge in travel after the end of COVID-19 travel restrictions. The cap will last until Sep. 11, 2022, and Heathrow said it is yielding positive results. The cap has reportedly resulted in fewer last-minute cancellations and more timely departures and baggage delivery.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttiegeg said “action will be taken” to reduce the number of delays due to airlines’ staff shortages. On Wednesday, he said his agency is ready to take enforcement actions against airlines that don’t perform. On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Buttigieg said as the demand for travel continues, the Department of Transportation can and will enforce federal requirements. However, the government has limits on what it can impose on airlines so what that action looks like is unclear.

According to data from Cirium, an aviation analytics company, American Airlines cut 30,949 flights that were originally scheduled to operate in November. Delta Air Lines also confirmed it is trimming 4,500 flights from its November schedule, and United Airlines announced it would cut about 15,000 flights in November, a 10% schedule reduction for the month according to Cirium data. Many cuts are being made to accommodate staffing levels amid the hiring shortage. The airlines hope the move will help relieve travelers’ aches at the airport come Thanksgiving.

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