When Angela Diaz boarded her American Airlines connection in Philadelphia at 1 p.m. on June 29, the plane was supposed to take off in 45 minutes. Instead, she and hundreds of passengers sat on a hot plane with no air conditioning for more than four hours.
The plane returned to the gate several times for repairs. Each time, the passengers were guaranteed a takeoff, and then it was pushed back.
By 5:30 p.m., the flight was canceled altogether.
Diaz’s American Airlines flight from Providence, R.I., to Philadelphia, Miami, and then Cali, Colombia, not only cost her $1,200, but after the plane deboarded in Philadelphia, she also learned that she would have to spend two nights here for the next flight to Cali.
Diaz’s husband, Javier, a platinum member with American, called and got her a flight to Dallas, where she was forced to spend Saturday night and use accumulated points from Hotels.com to pay for the room. The next morning, her American flight from Dallas to Miami was delayed for mechanical issues, and she barely made her connection in Miami. She finally arrived in Colombia on Sunday night.
Diaz’s experience on American Airlines, which accounts for 70 percent of traffic at Philadelphia International Airport, is not an outlier.
American consistently has the most cancellations of any major airline flying in and out of Philadelphia, records show. From March 10 to June 20, the airline canceled 720 flights, which is 2.15 percent of its total departures and arrivals at Philadelphia International, according to FlightAware, a digital aviation company that tracks flights.
This is 29 more cancellations than during the same period last year.
Southwest Airlines, the largest operator of the grounded Boeing 737 MAX 8, had a higher percentage of flight cancellations during the latest three-month period, at 2.7 percent of its 5,104 flights into and out of Philly.
Delta Air Lines had only 0.28 percent of its flights canceled, while United Airlines had 0.96 percent.