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American Just Cut 28,800 Flights—These 15 Cities Are Affected

The airline's latest schedule shows a nearly 13 percent reduction in departures.

Any modern business should expect to cope with change as it operates, but very few industries have had to deal with as much change lately as the airline industry. After dealing with the effects of the COVID pandemic, many major carriers are still struggling with scheduling issues as they attempt to meet the sudden surge in demand brought on by the first busy summer travel season in years. As a result, many companies have tried to solve the issue by cutting back on routes. Now American Airlines has announced a drastic change to its schedule, cutting more than 28,800 flights, including routes between 15 major cities. Read on to see which destinations will be affected by the dropped service.

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Major airlines are contending with a staffing shortage by reducing their schedules.

A man looking at the arrivals and departures board in an airport

After struggling for years to cope with a lack of passengers, major airlines now find themselves contending with the issue of plenty of travelers but too few employees to fly or crew their planes. Now, some U.S. carriers have resorted to scaling back their schedules to keep operations manageable and reduce the likelihood of delays or cancellations.

On Aug. 8, Delta Air Lines confirmed it would be dropping multiple routes, beginning with service between its midwestern hub in Detroit (DTW) and Allentown, Pennsylvania (ABE) as of Sept. 11, The Points Guy reported. It will then drop service between Detroit and Cedar Rapids, Iowa (CID); Dayton, Ohio (DAY); and Fort Wayne, Indiana (FWA), as well as between Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) and Moline, Illinois (MLI) beginning on Oct. 5.

Frontier Airlines also announced major changes, unveiling a new schedule on Aug. 2 that showed the carrier was cutting more than 4,000 flights, Simple Flying reported. The changes affected 32 domestic routes—with 84 percent involving service to and from Florida—and 11 international routes servicing Cancún, Mexico.

And on July 5, United Airlines confirmed that it would soon no longer be flying to Flagstaff, Arizona (FLG) and Texarkana, Arkansas (TXK), The Points Guy reported. The carrier will cease service from Houston, Texas (IAH) to Texarkana on Sept. 6 and from Denver, Colorado (DEN) to Flagstaff on Oct. 30. And now, American Airlines is making significant route changes of its own.

American just cut more than 28,800 flights from its schedule, impacting service between 15 cities.

American Airlines Plane on Runway
Santiparp Wattanaporn/Shutterstock

According to flight schedule data uploaded on Aug. 9, American Airlines has cut 28,807 flights from its November schedule in a move that affects 15 cities across 11 routes, Simple Flying reports. Overall, the dropped departures represent a 12.6 percent reduction of the carrier's planned schedule for the month.

The changes indicate that while many of the routes are being suspended or having their restart date pushed back later than initially planned, some have been permanently dropped or had service drastically reduced. The most affected city appears to be Miami, with flights cut from the Florida city to Des Moines, Grand Rapids, Madison, Managua, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Oklahoma City, and Samana. Other affected routes include Boston to Providenciales, Charlotte to Puerto Vallarta, and St Louis to Cancún, per Simple Flying.

Other schedule changes will see drastic reductions in departures on different routes, including Chicago O'Hare to San Jose, California; Phoenix to Cleveland; and O'Hare to Evansville. The airline also dropped the number of November departures from Dallas to McAllen, Texas, from 236 to 130, Simple Flying reports.

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These aren't the only changes American has made to its schedule recently.

Amsterdam, Netherlands - May 21, 2021: American Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner airplane at Amsterdam Schiphol airport (AMS) in the Netherlands.

Similar to other airlines, this isn't the only time recently that American has cut flights from its schedule. Last week, the carrier confirmed it would reduce departures from its Philadelphia hub, dropping nearly three percent of its scheduled flights in September and five percent of scheduled October flights, USA Today reported.

During a July earnings call for the carrier, Robert Isom, CEO of American Airlines, stated that the flight cuts were "proactive steps" intended to "build additional buffer into our schedule for the rest of the year."

"We're sizing the airline for the resources we've available and the operating conditions we face, and we'll make other changes as needed," Isom explained.

Schedule data shows that other major airlines also reduced their schedules in November.

man with luggage walking through airport
Kaspars Grinvalds / Shutterstock

The latest schedule information also shows that American isn't the only major airline making significant changes to its November schedule. Delta Air Lines has cut 4,396 flights, representing a 3.3 percent drop in total departures, per Simple Flying. Meanwhile, United Airlines has dropped 497 flights—or 0.4 percent of its entire schedule—while Frontier Airlines' schedule slimmed down by 0.7 percent after it axed 90 departures from its originally planned routes.

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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