During the winter holiday travel season, which spanned from Dec. 20, 2023 through Jan. 8, 2024, American Airlines achieved a remarkable operational performance. This period saw the airline successfully minimize flight cancellations and significantly improve on-time performance across its network, effectively handling the high travel demand.

American Airlines Leads in Holiday Travel with Record Low Cancellations, Improved Punctuality
(Photo : Ronald Plett from Pixabay)

American Airlines Excels During Winter Holiday Travel

American Airlines, a major U.S. airline, has performed excellently during the winter holiday travel season. This period started on Dec. 20 and will end on Jan. 8. 

According to Breaking Travel News, American Airlines has helped nearly 7.8 million customers on over 71,000 flights during this time. The airline had very few canceled flights, leading among big carriers in this area. In fact, for the first six days, not a single main flight was canceled, and only 16 were canceled during the holidays.

American Airlines' success comes even with tough weather conditions and more air traffic control delays. These delays were due to extra flights not part of regular schedules. Despite these challenges, American Airlines had a much better on-time performance for departures and arrivals than last year's holiday season. The improvement was about 15% for both.

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David Seymour, the Chief Operating Officer of American Airlines, spoke about the hard work of their team. He said they have met their commitment to safety and reliability, despite difficult weather and more air traffic. Seymour also thanked federal partners like the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). He credited them for helping make the holiday travel successful.

American Airlines also focused on improving how they handle baggage. Their efforts have paid off. The airline has seen a 66% better rate in handling baggage without issues than last holiday season.

American Airlines Union Considers Major Changes for Pilots

American Airlines' pilot union, the Allied Pilots Association (APA), is looking into a big change. They are thinking about adding pilots from smaller airlines like Envoy Air to the main pilot list at American Airlines. This was revealed in a memo from the union. The APA has set up a special team to see how this change might work.

The union's President, Ed Sicher, said in the memo that this team will also look into what could happen if the age when pilots retire is raised from 65 to 67. They want to make sure this change doesn't cause any problems for their pilots, as reported by Reuters

This idea of changing the retirement age is getting mixed reactions. Some pilot unions, like the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), are against it. They think it could make flying less safe because no safety group has checked what this change could mean. However, the Regional Airline Association (RAA) believes this change could let around 5,000 pilots keep working for two more years.

This news comes at a time when there's a big need for more pilots in the industry. American Airlines hasn't made any comments on this yet.

Read Also: Southwest Airlines Faces Delays and Cancellations Amid Busy Holiday Travel Season