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Airlines say weather is to blame for canceled, late flights

American Airlines reports roughly a quarter of their flights haven’t departed on time this year.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The pent-up demand for travel is overwhelming. 

Travel demand has more than doubled what it was this time last year. But some are finding they can’t always get to their destination.

American Airlines reports roughly a quarter of their flights haven’t departed on time this year, though reps say it is an improvement from 2019.

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The airline reports weather-related issues have been responsible for more than two-thirds of all cancellations and delays at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. Last month, even leaving passengers stranded overnight.

If you feel delays have been happening more this summer, you’re right. American airlines reports they’ve seen an elevated number of weather-related cancelations in Charlotte in July and Aug. versus other months, reportedly due to weather systems locally and across other hubs.  

It’s a problem other major airlines like Southwest, and Spirit have dealt with.

“That is a factor you really can't control concerning delays,” Nancy Cutter, the owner of court travel, said.

Cutter said the weather hasn’t been the airlines' only battle.

“All of the airlines of course had to shed employees and staff and everybody else and pilots, it’s a matter of time to get people caught up,” she explained.

Airlines are not required by law to compensate passengers for a delayed flight but could switch passengers to another flight when possible if there's an open seat, which Cutter says may be another battle towards the end of the year.

“The holiday season right now is incredibly booked, people are ready to get out there,” Cutter said.

Contact Lana Harris at lharris@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and on Instagram.

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