American Airlines flights face delays after technicalities, weather

Problems with the reservation system and inclement weather in Chicago resulted in cancellations and delays.

Due to technical complications with their reservation system, American Airlines experienced a system-wide ground delay Tuesday until 4 p.m.

The airline tweeted that it was having technical problems early afternoon on Tuesday and continued to update and apologize to customers via Twitter and Facebook.

"Every day, we strive to get it right. Most days we do, but Tuesday, April 16, was unfortunately not one of those days … Know that we immediately put all hands on deck to identify and resolve the problem – working to get our systems running smoothly, our flights back on schedule, our customers rebooked and back on their way," American Airlines CEO Thomas W. Horton said in a statement released Wednesday. American offered refunds to passengers or flight rescheduling with no additional charge.

The ground delay affected flights coming in and out of Columbia Regional Airport. A flight from Dallas to Columbia scheduled to land earlier was delayed until late in the evening. The plane was supposed to continue on to Chicago, but the flight was canceled. Additionally, a Chicago to Columbia flight scheduled to arrive at 5:10 p.m. was canceled, as well as a flight from Columbia to Dallas scheduled to leave at 5:40 p.m.

American Airlines didn't contact Columbia Regional Airport staff, but cancellations and delays were updated automatically on their flight system, Columbia Regional Airport Manager Don Elliott said.

American Airlines flights were also hindered Thursday because of inclement weather in Chicago. A storm system moving through area dropped heavy rainfall. Flash flood warnings remained in effect for Northeastern Illinois through Thursday night, according to the National Weather Service.

A flight from Columbia to Chicago scheduled to leave at 2:25 p.m. Thursday was canceled. Also, a flight from Chicago scheduled to arrive in Columbia at 5:35 p.m. Thursday was canceled, and an 8:10 p.m. flight from Dallas was as well.

Harper College student Alex Catanescu, who planned to visit MU this weekend, had a flight scheduled to leave at 3:30 p.m. Thursday from Chicago to St. Louis, but the flight was canceled due to weather.

"After my flight was canceled, they put me on a 10 or 11 p.m. flight without notifying me," Catanescu said. "I was trying to reschedule my first flight, and they told me that I was already scheduled for the later flight, and I didn't even know about it."

Catanescu's second flight was canceled as well, and the airline put him on an 8:30 a.m. flight to St. Louis on Friday morning.

"The weather is terrible," Catanescu said. "We got 5 inches of rain in a matter of 24 hours."

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