Created: November 01, 2021 07:19 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — This consumer alert is all about dominoes. It's a fun game when sitting around a table with your buddies. Dominoes are not so much fun when you're stuck in an airport. That was the case for tens of thousands traveling American Airlines this weekend. The dominoes just kept falling, and they landed right smack dab on top on a bunch of stranded folks waiting for flights.
The first domino fell when nasty weather hit the area that houses American's biggest hub, Dallas Fort Worth. Howling winds grounded planes which also grounded crews who couldn't get in position for upcoming flights. The second domino fell when many crew members reached their maximum allowable hours and couldn't fly. And that's when the whole stack of dominoes came tumbling down.
Remember American furloughed 10,000 employees during the pandemic. Many didn't come back so the airline was already short-staffed. Two-thirds of the flights American canceled Sunday were because there weren't enough flight attendants. The rest were because of too few pilots.
But American leaders say help is on the way. Eighteen hundred flight attendants on leave during the pandemic are coming back and 600 new hires will start by year's end.
But will that be enough to make your upcoming holiday travel a little easier? Probably not. American pilots warn crew shortages will be far worse if and when the federal vaccine mandate goes into effect.
That's echoed by unions at other airlines and that would make the problems at Southwest far worse. Remember the airline's massive meltdown last month when cancellations and delays stranded tens of thousands traveling from the west coast?
In August, United Airlines mandated that its employees get vaccinated, but some are holding out and have taken United to court.
Meanwhile, some vaccinated pilots say they won't fly with unvaccinated co-workers
So what's all this mean for you and me?
Here's Deanna's Do List:
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