Nationally, travelers on American Airlines have had to go through delays and flight cancellations recently, with some of the issues being blamed on pilots calling in sick in relation to ongoing negotiations about a new labor deal.
In Waco according to a spokeswoman for American Eagle, which flies every day from Waco to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, they have no reports of service disruptions.
However, some travel agents and officials wonder if the problems nationally with the airline will hurt efforts to entice more local travelers to use the Waco airport rather than driving to D-FW, Killeen or Austin.
Jim Fudge, a travel agent with Travel Time in Waco said it is very frustrating, and it has gotten to the point where the industry can’t depend on American Airlines, so they aren’t very useful to them right now.
Fudge also said that all they have available to them in Waco is the American Eagle airline, which makes the situation much worse.
On Monday, American Airlines canceled 113 flights, while its affiliate American Eagle had 13 cancellations. According to FlightStats.com, no other airline had over eight cancellations.
American operated over 1,800 flights on Monday and only 51.1% arrived on schedule. On time arrivals by US Airways and Delta topped 93%, while Southwest and United were 88%.
According to American, a number of pilots have phoned in sick since March, and this month a number of delays were caused by pilots requesting precautionary maintenance checks.
The maintenance reports peaked mid-August when American Airline pilots rejected the last contract offer. According to the airline, sometimes these flight delays caused by the last-minute inspections are problems as simple as torn seats.