It looks like American Airlines (AA) and Southwest (SWA) are starting to catch up with their out-of-sync schedules. According to FlightAware, AA has *only* canceled 95 flights so far today and delayed 166, while SWA has canceled 14 and so far has delayed 259 flights. Keep in mind, it’s only 11:30amPT so these numbers will no doubt grow but it’s still a big improvement from yesterday.

I’ve done a lot of news interviews around their mismanagement and the cause. You can read my articles here:

Something Is Really Up At Southwest and American
Why You Shouldn’t Book Southwest or American Airlines This Holiday Season

Or, you can watch some of the news stories I was interviewed for, including: NBC Nightly News, Reuters, Yahoo Finance, CBS Los Angeles, CBS Atlanta, CBS Baltimore and Bob Sirott’s Show on WGN Radio. I’m very honored to be included in so many.

Reader Question:
One Chicago listener contacted me today via Twitter with this urgent question: “HELP! My college son is booked on American for Tgiving from DCA to ORD. Should i switch him to United? TIA!!”

My Answer:
No! AA should be better by then. But you might want to buy a back up on UA or DL for a few hours later or the next day and then just cancel it and take a credit.

If you really need to be somewhere and are worried American, Southwest, or any airline for that matter, will have mass cancelations or delays, then you should have a back-up plan. You should always have a back-up plan but especially as we head into the holidays because of the recent mismanagement of multiple airlines.

It’s a good idea to book a back-up on another airline, and if no nonstops are available, then make your back-up connecting flight through a different hub or region of the country. Just make sure the tickets you buy are either refundable or can be turned into a flight credit for future travel (usually one year from the date of purchase) and that you cancel them before it’s too late (ask each airline about their cancelation policy; some are 10 minutes before departure while others could be two hours).

Related: 
Here’s what to do if your flight is delayed or canceled.
10 ways to find cheap Thanksgiving flights
10 ways to find cheap Christmas flights.

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10 Comments On "Should You Cancel Your American or Southwest Airlines Holiday Tickets and Rebook on Another Carrier?"
  1. Rich|

    Just canceled my sons AA flight from BUR and booked a UA non stop to Cleveland from LAX. Too many what if’s. Requested a refund since they had made time changes, seat changes and aircraft changes to his reservation. Hopefully it will go through. If not we’ll take the credit

  2. Meghan Rowe|

    American cancelled our international flight to Ireland last week for Christmas
    Had to book on delta for an exorbitant amount due to how late the booking is being so close to the holidays
    No explanations
    This is only after they cancelled our 1 stop flight a few months ago and changed us to a 3 leg through Heathrow

  3. Bret|

    Thanks to your blog I booked on Delta for a trip to Long Beach in a few weeks. AA and SWA are a disaster. Appreciate your writing!

  4. Busy Traveller|

    United has had no cancellation issues. I’ve flown them multiple times since the pandemic started and will continue to.

  5. Lynda|

    People need to realize that, even though AA did cancel many flights, thousands oof passengers did successfully end up where they wanted/needed to go. I will confess that I’m a loyal AA customer. Over 40 years of flying AA some 6-8 times each year, I’ve never had a flight canceled.

  6. Bruce|

    Every airline flying is dealing with staffing shortages to some extent. They all have to deal with the weather, ATC and so forth. So why is it only American (and Southwest to a lesser extent) that are having problems? I’ve read comments in other forums that the vaccine mandates have something to do with it, but United was the first to require vaccinations and they’ve not had any issues…

  7. Ms Teetee|

    Everytime I fly southwest or AA, I’m delayed significantly. I’ve never made it toy destinations when I’m supposed to. Hence, it’s why I just sit back and pack alot of patience. Both of these airlines are just as AWFUL with service as Spirit.

  8. Michael Ross|

    My return flight from Nairobi got cancelled. I’m not if they screwed up ticket or it was cancelled. Regardless, there was no getting through to reach a human on their 800 number. With no real choices (it’s a long swim) I rebooked on Qatar for a lot of money.
    Plus my flight within the US on the way got cancelled… And that cancellation seem to through a monkey wrench in entire ticket… Incl. Me running to the Dallas A.A desk to get the ticket fixed nearly missing the outbound flt.
    I’m done with A.A

  9. Carol|

    I have to say (knock on wood) we’ve never had any issues with either airline. Only exceptional service and I’ve never been delayed.
    I hope my December flight on American will go smoothly. I really love using them.

  10. Janice|

    I flew Southwest, just last week (end of Oct). Loved it. No issues at all either flight.

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