How winter storms have affected the joint American/US Airways operation

Like its competitors, American has had a rough February, operationally. Photo: American.

Like its competitors, American has had a rough February, operationally. Photo: American.

In American’s latest employee newsletter, the airline focused on the difficult winter weather that had affected the operation so far in 2014. Here’s some data the carrier provided on impacts to American and US Airways as of Feb. 20.

35
Deicing events so far in 2014 at ORD

65
Inches of snowfall so far in 2014 at ORD

55.5
Combined completion factor on Feb. 13 – the lowest in more than 10 years

0
Flights operated by Piedmont and PSA on Feb. 13

99.1
Percentage of canceled flights at CLT on Feb. 13 (all but a handful of our 640 daily departures)

96.9
Percentage of canceled flights at DCA on Feb. 13

475,000
Calls received in the domestic reservations system on Feb. 12 and Feb. 13

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CBS News VIDEO: Inside Delta’s Atlanta operation center as a storm hits

CBS News took a tour of Delta’s operations center this week, showing travelers how the airline copes with poor weather. Above you can learn what the network found out.

If you found that video compelling, you might want to check out my earlier posts following my visits to the operations centers at three major airlines — United, Delta and Lufthansa.

Of the three, my favorite was the Lufthansa center in Frankfurt. There, I learned how dispatchers plan flight 456 from Frankfurt to Los Angeles. Here’s what dispatcher Marcus Pabst told me when I asked him if the computer program that plans flights always chooses the fastest route:

It depends on what I have preselected. I have four options. I can tell the computer, give me a minimum cost track, including the overflight charges. Or I can ask for a  minimum fuel track only considering the fuel burn. Or I can ask for a minimum time track.  I would use that if I duty time problems from the crew (crew are permitted to only work so many hours per day) or most of the passengers are transit passengers and have to pick up their next flight, and we are arriving so late that if I have to send 50 passengers to the hotel or to another airline we are going to have to pay more money.  The fourth option is the minimum distance track – the shortest distance between two points.

 

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