Northwest Airlines is blaming a slew of weekend flight cancellations on a sharp rise in pilot absenteeism. The fifth-largest US airline canceled 200 flights over the past 2 days, but pilots say it has nothing to do with them skipping out on work, ABC News reports. They point the finger at maxed-out time sheets and a staffing shortage.
Cancellations and delays were rampant even though the carrier says it rejiggered schedules to conform with limits on pilot hours. Weather delays, increased traffic, and an out-of-date air traffic control system have led to flight cancellations across the US. And passengers are none too pleased: Americans ranked airlines below the IRS in a recent customer-satisfaction survey.