Dropping 250 more flights on Monday (as of the time of press) to the 1,058 flights on Sunday, 548 on Saturday, and 343 on Friday is proving problematic for American Airlines. It’s not the weather, or maintenance problems with their aging fleet, or ATC problems. No, instead they claim COVID as the responsibility.
COO for American David Seymour put out an internal memo claiming that “proactive canceling” is the reason behind these problems so as “to provide scheduling certainty for their crews”. This is more smoke and mirrors from the airline industry in a time where the American public is back to traveling in large groups, especially as the holidays are around the corner.
While airline unions are stating “service disruptions are due to bad management decisions and flawed scheduling systems. And they say that the problems will not end with this weekend’s woes,” we all know where these problems stem from; Biden and his vaccine requirements. American has taken the same route as Southwest in making the vaccine mandatory to bow and kiss the Biden ring.
Yet other airlines like Delta also have government contracts, and they haven’t had 1/10th the problems getting by. It’s not because they are refusing the jab; rather they are getting it of their own free will. No need to threaten a promotion being held up, or a job being taken away. These people are being allowed their own choice to do this, just like it should be.
As the woes start to build for American Airlines, they will only get worse as more people refuse to get vaccinated because it is no longer a ‘choice’ for them. This means more people will quit, be laid off, or be forced into unpaid leave. Much like the loss of employees for Southwest has destroyed their airline (at least in the short term) American faces the same fate by going down this road.
Despite these cancellations, stockholders seem to view this as a temporary setback, as the price has gone up a marginal amount today. This indicates investor confidence in this being a short-lived problem, and that they have faith in the airline to turn things around quickly. Mind you, nobody knows exactly how this will turn out as people despise airlines making last-minute changes to their flight plans, and when that happens they find somebody else who would do it.
For Delta or airlines without federal contracts like Continental, or low budget airlines like Spirit, Allegiant, and Jet Blue this is like music to their ears. The more American cancels flights, the better their opportunity becomes to earn their business and get people to change over to a new airline. Given how much revenue the airline industry as a whole lost to the pandemic, they need anything they can get.
In response to the pandemic, airlines have been keeping their flight prices reasonable given the situation. While almost surprising, it is encouraging people to travel, and it keeps the planes full. The more people flying means the more people they can hire to keep things moving forward. It’s time American got on board and realized their mistake by kissing the Biden ring. If not it will cost them dearly. These workers need to retain their bodily autonomy, and if they lose it just to keep the White House happy, then American Airlines just is not who we thought they were. Given their storied history, that would be incredibly disappointing.