My guess was this happened:
It turns out that Saturday was better than Thursday and Friday largely because fewer people fly and there are fewer flights on Saturday. The problems returned Sunday and continue today. American Airlines still isn’t sure exactly what’s causing their systems to fail. I am told explicitly that the issue is not hacking.
The servers in Dayton, Ohio just aren’t working properly. Their spokesperson describes it as a “latency issue.” That “applications [are] running too slowly.”
They believe it’s not network or bandwidth-related. Instead the hardware or software is failing when managing the full schedule of American Eagle flights PSA operates. It was described to me as a “computer system hardware application issue” though I take that to mean a hardware or application issue.
As a result they’ve been cancelling half of PSA flights, to bring the traffic down to a level that the system can handle. And American has dispatched a plane of staff to Dayton to work on the issue. Here they are arriving on site,
PSA operates nearly half of American’s flights in Charlotte. So far today they’ve cancelled over 230 arrivals and over 230 departures at that airport, and over 500 flights system wide. With Charlotte running an 89% load factor today over 13,000 passengers have been affected by cancelled departing flights.
Here are the top cancelling airlines today per FlightStats,
American hasn’t had as many system meltdowns as United and Delta have over the past several years. In some sense it’s their ‘turn’ although here it’s limited to just one of their ‘express’ carriers (albeit one they own).
Unfortunately though they haven’t issued a travel waiver for Charlotte. So if you’re booked on a PSA flight — even though half are being cancelled — they haven’t announced plans to allow customers to rebook for a time when flights are more likely to operate.