American Airlines says travelers should prepare for year-end schedule changes

American Airlines is expected to make changes to its flight schedule for the end of the year, and some Charlotte-area residents are concerned it will affect their vacation plans.

The airline is due to publish its final schedule soon. Travelers should prepare for the possibility of having to adjust their travel itinerary, said Brian Znutins, vice president of network planning for American Airlines.

“We are trying to fly as much as our operations can support. We don’t want to overburden ourselves again,” Znottens said.

Znotins explained in American Airline’s “Tell Me Why” podcast that the airline does a so-called “interim placement schedule” 331 days in advance and then makes changes 100 days in advance.

Previous coverage: American Airlines has canceled more than 1,000 flights from its fall schedule

“Sometimes we don’t know what flights we’re going to have and won’t operate because we don’t know how many aircraft, pilots, mechanics and ground personnel will have to support the schedule,” he said.

America expects it will operate 7.5% to 9.5% fewer flights by the end of 2022, compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019. A company spokesperson shared that the average number of daily flights from Charlotte Douglas International Airport will be lower than in September and October. And November.

“The differences we’re seeing in the tables are bigger than they used to be,” Znottens said.

This news is already worrying those who were hoping to be reunited with the family for the holidays. Weddington resident Melissa Bartow said she’s counting down the days until she can be reunited with her family in New Jersey.

“We just got back from a family trip and we can’t wait to see them again,” Barto said.

Also Read: Bald Eagle Fly in Charlotte Douglas

She expects the next time she can see them is December, when millions of other travelers will be flying through the skies, but news of flight cutbacks could affect her plans.

“It’s a little troubling because I don’t want to lose any options I have,” Barto said.

But Bartow said she wouldn’t let the stress of the holiday get in the way of her enthusiasm to see her family.

Reporter Erica Jackson reached out to an airline spokesperson to find out how many flights will be affected from Charlotte Douglas in December. He told her they didn’t have those numbers yet.

The airline’s representatives assured Jackson that they had always made changes to its placeholder schedule, but changes to the published schedule may have become more drastic since the pandemic began.

The Dallas Business Journal reports that the airline plans to cut 14,000 flights nationwide in December.

(Watch below: American Airlines flight evacuated after emergency in Charlotte Douglas)

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