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Flight delays, cancellations at Charlotte Douglas impacting workweek travel

CHARLOTTE — Flight delays and cancellations are still causing headaches for passengers this summer at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

As of 5:30 p.m. Monday, there have been 198 delays and 18 cancellations at Charlotte Douglas, according to FlightAware. American Airlines currently has canceled 13 flights and delayed 127 total flights.

The delays have disrupted travel plans for many, including Carl Norman, who spent Monday in a hotel in University City. American canceled his connecting flight Sunday night, just 20 minutes before boarding time.

“It was just really ugly last night. I just wish this company would do better,” Norman said. “You get no information on the app. You can’t get anybody on the telephone, you get these very long lines to employees who are just as frustrated as the passengers.”

Norman dealt with similar issues when he left from Scranton, Pennsylvania Friday night to go to his little brother’s funeral in Orlando. He again faced long delays and then missed his connecting flight when he finally landed at Charlotte Douglas. The airline blamed the weather while Norman stayed the night in the airport.

He will be waiting once again to get to his home and job in Scranton, Pennsylvania Monday night as his flight is suppose to leave at 9 p.m. He hopes he doesn’t have to make another call to his boss that he won’t make it work.

“What do I tell him when I miss another day of work?” Norman said.

Over the weekend, there were more than 500 delays, with a majority of those coming from American Airlines and its subsidiaries, PSA and Piedmont Airlines. Of the cancellations, nearly 60 were from American Airlines, over 30 from PSA Airlines, six from Endeavor Air, two from Jazz Air, and one from Envoy Air. Of the over 500 delays, nearly 300 of them were from American Airlines, over 100 were from PSA Airlines and over 30 were from Piedmont.

A spokesperson for American Airlines told Channel 9 that weather is the primary issue for the delays but it can lead to crews being out of place due to mandatory rest periods. Weather delays can also affect the flight sequence for crews, which causes some of them to be displaced or time out and be unable to fly and there are less crew reserves at the end of the month that can cover routes.

American also said storms in the Charlotte area closed the ramp for over three hours Saturday night and a nearby lightning strike and power outages impacted the ability to fuel aircraft. Thirty-five flights out of 618 scheduled departures were canceled Saturday.

The spokesperson said similar delays happened on Sunday due to forecasted weather in the area, adding 55 mainline and regional flights were canceled out of the 594 scheduled departures.

American said operations at Charlotte Douglas have been normalized as of now, saying less than one percent of the 615 scheduled departures were impacted Monday.

The pilots union is pushing back on the narrative that the delays are weather-related. In data presented to Channel 9, American Pilots Association data shows 47% of the flights canceled nationwide are due to pilots not being assigned to a plane, which has impacted around 30,000 customers.

Flights being delayed or canceled have been an ongoing issue this summer at Charlotte Douglas.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Charlotte Douglas was part of the top five airports for worst delays this summer, with almost 30% of flights delayed and more than 3% canceled.

Check back on wsoctv.com for updates.

(WATCH BELOW: Pedestrian tunnel, lobby expansion debut at Charlotte Douglas International Airport)


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