January 13, 2023

Last week, we looked at how bad weather and an overloaded scheduling system led to disastrous consequences for Southwest Airlines as it canceled more than 13,000 flights over the holidays. But while this disaster could at least be partly blamed on a rough winter storm, airports had no such excuse on Wednesday when a computer outage led to another massive wave of cancellations and delays. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a damaged database file corrupted the agency’s system Continue reading

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January 4, 2023

The end of December is one of the busiest travel times of the year as people rush back and forth from home for the holidays. For travelers who booked trips on Southwest Airlines, though, the season was even more stressful as the carrier canceled more than 13,000 flights in less than a week. The trouble started when a major winter storm swept the country and prevented many pilots and flight attendants from working. Southwest staff usually solve this problem by Continue reading

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July 12, 2022

Since the start of the summer travel season, air carriers have canceled thousands of flights as they grapple with bad weather, high fuel costs, and rampant inflation. Along with these problems, airlines are also encountering increased resistance from one of their most important groups of employees: pilots. Faced with large workloads and an unpredictable post-pandemic environment, pilots are demanding substantial wage increases as well as quality of life benefits from their employers. 

According to analysts, airlines are likely to Continue reading

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June 22, 2022

Americans traveled in droves over the busy Father’s Day and Juneteenth holiday weekend, leading to widespread delays and cancellations at airports despite the best efforts of carriers. All told, airlines canceled more than 5,000 flights over the weekend while almost a third of all arriving flights on Friday were delayed. Travelers experienced similar moments of chaos at airports over Memorial Day weekend, reflecting an industry struggling to return to normal after the pandemic.

According to airlines, poor weather and high Continue reading

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March 29, 2022

With omicron infection rates falling and mask mandates expiring across the country, many companies are attempting to reestablish a sense of pre-pandemic normalcy by reopening offices and bringing employees back to stay. But while firms return to business as usual, the nation’s biggest companies may never again return to business travel as usual. According to the Global Business Travel Association, spending on corporate travel amounts to a third of what it was before 2020. 

For example, the consultancy giant Continue reading

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October 13, 2021

Last month, we looked at how air travel has become so complicated during the pandemic that people are turning to travel agents to make sense of the mess. But not even the most experienced agents could have prepared Southwest passengers for the problems that many encountered this past weekend. On Saturday the carrier cancelled more than 1,000 flights and then another 800 on Sunday, followed by 360 more cancellations and close to 1,000 delayed flights on Monday. Southwest apologized for Continue reading

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August 24, 2021

At the beginning of summer, major airlines had plenty of optimism that rising vaccination rates would entice Americans into traveling again. Initially this hope seemed to be well-placed as demand for flights increased and prices surged accordingly, with the Consumer Price Index finding that airfares rose by 7 percent from April to May 2021. While prices stayed around that level through July, sales started to sag by August as carriers saw the impact of the Delta variant on their bottom Continue reading

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April 27, 2021

Last year, the onset of the pandemic devastated air travel as lockdown orders kept planes on the ground all over the world. After numerous airlines nearly collapsed as a result, the federal government provided the industry with three bailouts amounting to tens of billions of dollars in relief. This allowed airlines to keep many of their employees on the payroll while they waited to see if travel would recover. And now with ticket sales on the rise once again, analysts Continue reading

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January 22, 2021

Even during the pandemic, the nation’s airports still manage to move tons of cargo across the country every day. This video takes a close look at how Dallas Fort Worth International Airport transports everything from live animals to human remains in this challenging, fast-paced environment. 


  1. How has the pandemic changed transportation and cargo procedures at American Airlines?
  2. Do you think cargo-only flights will continue after the pandemic? Why or why not?
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October 1, 2020

Back in March, airlines received $25 billion in relief so that workers could stay on the payroll as the coronavirus pandemic caused a massive disruption in world travel. But with that money now spent, major carriers had been hoping for another round of economic stimulus from the federal government as demand for travel remains low. Legislators have been unable to come to an agreement so far, however, leading American Airlines and United Airlines to announce that more than 32,000 employees Continue reading

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