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American Airlines: Should you avoid booking flights on AA?

An American Airlines employee helps travelers at the

An American Airlines employee helps travelers at the ticket counter in the Miami International Airport. (Sept. 18, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

American Airlines and American Eagle are canceling a total of 300 flights this week, The Associated Press has reported, and The Wall Street Journal has recommended fliers avoid the airline entirely this fall.

“American has become too unreliable,“ WSJ travel writer Scott McCartney wrote in a Sept. 18 story.

AMR Corp., which owns AA and AE, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late November of 2011, but more recent changes seem to have resulted in unhappy pilots.

“American has seen an increase in flight cancellations since early this month, when a federal bankruptcy judge allowed the company to impose new pay and work rules on pilots,“ the AP reported. “The pilots had rejected the company's last contract offer in August.“

While the 300 flight cancellations represent a small number of the 24,000 flights scheduled this week on the Amr-owned airlines, both are doing poorly in terms of delays and cancellations.

The airlines had a combined 662 delays and 37 cancellations on Sept. 19, the most of any airline according to tracking website The next closest was Southwest with 350 delays and 20 cancellations. Looking at a larger time span, during the week of Sept. 9 to 15 AA and AE had a total of 4,777 delays; 249 were canceled during that window. The next closest major airline, again Southwest, had 3,150 delays and 82 cancellations during the same week.

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