American Airlines Cancels More Flights Citing Weather and Labor Shortage

American Airlines plane in the air

American Airlines canceled 340 flights on Monday after cutting almost 2,000 flights during the weekend due to staffing shortages and weather delays, multiple sources reported.

The airline cut 343 flights Friday, 548 Saturday, and over 1,000 Sunday, according to American Airlines data obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The company canceled 2,291 flights as of Monday morning, representing over 10% of its schedule.

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Lyft’s Safety Report Shows Thousands of Sexual Assaults over Three Years

Man driving a car with GPS set up on dashboard

Lyft reported 1,807 sexual assaults in 2019 in its first-ever safety report, released Thursday. The release mentioned that in 2019 the company received 156 reports of rape and 114 reports of attempted rape.

The rideshare company’s release listed categories of sexual assault ranging from “non-consensual kissing of a non-sexual body part” to “non-consensual sexual penetration.” Reports of all five categories of sexual assault included in the release increased from 2018 to 2019.

From 2017 to 2019, rape was reported in about one in 5 million Lyft rides, according to the release. There were 4,158 total reports of sexual assault in Lyft rides during those years.

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Southwest to Cut More Flights, Lost Almost $75 Million During Last Round of Cancellation

Southwest airplane

Southwest Airlines announced Thursday that it would adjust its December flight schedule to adjust for ongoing labor shortages.

Southwest canceled over 2,000 flights on Oct. 10 and 11, costing the company over $75 million, according to Southwest’s Q3 earnings report.  The airline attributed the canceled flights to weather and air traffic control issues but later admitted to experiencing a labor shortage, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The airline expects to cut its Q4 flight schedule by 8% from 2019, compared to a 5% reduction the company initially planned for, according to the WSJ. The company also expects a decline in staffing compared to its historical average, according to its Q3 earnings report.

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Biden Administration Won’t Say If It Will Reimburse Americans Who Were Charged Thousands to Board Flights out of Afghanistan

Joe Biden

The State Department said it will “no longer” charge Americans thousands of dollars to board evacuation flights out of Afghanistan, but it did say if it will reimburse those that have already been charged.

State Department spokesman Ned Price issued a statement to the press Thursday afternoon saying the Biden administration has “no intention of seeking any reimbursement from those fleeing Afghanistan.” But as of late Friday afternoon, nearly 24 hours after Price issued his statement, Americans seeking to secure evacuation out of Kabul continue to be told in a required government form that they’ll need to reimburse the U.S. government upwards of $2,000 or more for their evacuation.

“Repatriation flights are not free,” question 14 of the Repatriation Assistance form stated late Friday afternoon. “A promissory note for the full cost of the flight, which may exceed $2,000 per person, must be signed by each adult passenger before boarding.”

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United Airlines to Become First Major Airline Requiring Staff be Vaccinated

United Airlines plane on runway

United Airlines announced Friday that it will require all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 starting this fall, making it the first major airline to do so.

“We know some of you will disagree with this decision to require the vaccine for all United employees,” United CEO Scott Kirby and President Brett Hart announced in a memo. “But, we have no greater responsibility to you and your colleagues than to ensure your safety when you’re at work, and the facts are crystal clear: everyone is safer when everyone is vaccinated.”

The order requiring proof of vaccination will go into effect five weeks after the Federal Drug Administration officially gives full approval of the COVID-19 vaccines, or by Oct. 25, whichever comes first, The Hill newspaper reports. The FDA is expects to start giving full approval as early as next month.

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D.C. Mayor Denies Breaking Her Own Mask Mandate Despite Photo Evidence

Mayor Muriel Bowser

Democratic Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser denied breaking her own mask mandate at a wedding Saturday night, despite photo evidence showing her seated maskless at a table.

The Washington Examiner first reported late Saturday that the mayor had officiated a wedding attended by “hundreds of unmasked guests” at 5-star Adams Morgan hotel, The Line DC.

The Examiner included a photograph of the mayor seated at a table maskless, noting that she “did not wear a mask despite not actively eating or drinking.” Several other guests in the picture are also not wearing masks.

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After National Criticism, Whitmer’s Campaign to Pay for Florida Flight

Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Months after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer flew on a secret trip to Florida, Michiganders are starting to find answers.

Whitmer’s campaign committee will pay for her March Florida flight to visit her father after she initially attempted to use a nonprofit to charter the flight through a separate company.

The flight sparked an Federal Aviation Agency investigation, because the jet company was not authorized to operate charter flights.

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US Citizens Likely to be Left Out as Europe Reopens Borders

Americans are unlikely to be allowed into more than 30 European countries for business or tourism when the continent begins next week to open its borders to the world, due to the spread of the coronavirus and President Donald Trump’s ban on European visitors.

More than 15 million Americans are estimated to travel to Europe each year, and such a decision would underscore flaws in the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic, which has seen the United States record the highest number of infections and virus-related deaths in the world by far.

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State Department Suspends Visa Services Across the World

The State Department is suspending visa services in most countries across the world, the Trump administration’s latest response to mitigating the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement released late Wednesday, the State Department announced it’s cancelling all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant appoints at embassies and consulates in numerous countries. The suspensions became effective immediately, and no specific date was provided on when services would begin again.

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