American Airlines Update: Analyst Advice Varies on Booking for Holidays

An informal though effective labor action continues at American Airlines, as American pilots write up what the airline sees as an excessive number of maintenance reports and unhappy pilots see as a necessary safety measure. The end result is the same: excessive delays and cancellations.

Questions to Ask before Booking on American

Analysts Offer Mixed Holiday Advice

Air travel expert Rick Seaney said he’s had trouble with three of his last four American flights in late September including a couple of lengthy delays and one cancellation  Nevertheless, he has booked flights for Thanksgiving and Christmas on American. “And I’m not worried,” he said, “not yet.” Seaney, however, does advise anyone traveling to a cannot miss/cannot be late for meeting this week to “think long and hard” before booking with American.

American Says, ‘We’re Sorry’

Meanwhile, Slate’s business and economics correspondent has reservations – Matthew Yglesias states flatly, “You seriously have to stop traveling on American Airlines. Seriously.” Earlier, the Wall Street Journal‘s Scott McCartney told readers to “book away from American this fall.”

A Brief History of Airlines in Trouble

American Delays Continue

How bad is it? Recently, it appeared as though there was a slight dip in the number of delays – which may be one effect of American’s invitation to re-start talks with pilots – but the airline is still reeling from the high numbers. Here are the most recent figures from the weekend:

  • Friday, Sept. 28 – 565 delayed flights
  • Saturday, Sept. 29 – 424 delayed flights
  • Sunday, Sept. 30 – 613 delayed flights

During all of the preceding week, American racked up well over 200 canceled flights.

FareCompare has contacted American Airlines to see if they will reveal any information concerning booking for holiday flights – whether its figures are down, normal or up – and we will update this article with any information the carrier provides.


Published: October 1, 2012