American Airlines has abruptly canceled 480 flights so far today [as of 7.45 p.m. EDT]. The reason: more maintenance/safety-inspection problems with the same aging MD-80 fleet that was removed from service, causing more than 300 cancellations, last week.
Flights also might be canceled tomorrow.
Late this afternoon, American put a small and lame link on its Web site: MD80 Inspections Affect Some AA Travel ... It rather casually informs you that "several hundred" flights have been canceled "starting April 8."
WTF, American: You canceled 480 flights as of 7.45 p.m. today, according to FlightStats.com. So that is not a mere "several hundred" flights. It is "nearly 500 flights, and counting." It is, as they would define it on my old block, a "s---load of flights."
From what I'm hearing, the bulk of today's cancellations occurred abruptly in the afternoon. Some aircraft full of passengers were even pulled off line before takeoff.
And do note: Even American says this fresh mess will continue through tomorrow.
Meanwhile, according to a statement by the Allied Pilots Association, the union for American pilots, the cancellations occurred after a FAA ramp inspection of nine MD80s to ensure they had been "inspected and modified" as required last week showed that all nine failed the audit. "Hundreds more" cancellations are expected tomorrow, the union said.