American DFW Cancellations, Tornadoes, and Mileage Runs

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Today I took my first quasi-mileage run to San Francisco on American Airlines.  This was prompted by many converging factors, including double elite qualifying miles and double redeemable miles on the DFW – SFO portion, as well as a post-Mega Do bonus that will award 3x miles for OneWorld MegaDO participants.  I have also never been to San Fransisco, so was all for seeing the city, if only for an afternoon.  Since I was flying on American, this meant a connection today at DFW Airport.  I knew the weather forecast for the Dallas area today wasn’t fantastic, but frankly I was too busy to really think much of it.

We boarded our flight from DFW – SFO on time, but then spent some time sitting on the tarmac before departure.  I was asleep on and off, so I am not sure how long we were delayed (though I don’t think it was for very long).  I do remember hearing an announcement that we would be taking off to the East and would be flying North for a bit before turning West.  When we landed at San Francisco, I overheard the flight attendants talking about tornadoes in Dallas about damage to planes at DFW.  Turns out about an hour or so after we left, the DFW area was hit by a pretty nasty storm that produced tornadoes and very large hail.  That isn’t all that uncommon for April in Texas, but it isn’t often that an airport takes a hit.

I was lucky in making it out of DFW, as shortly thereafter all American Airlines flights were grounded at DFW for the remainder of the day.  Well, at least according to Twitter all flights were grounded, according to some reports it looks like some flights may actually be making it out.  I am sure that DFW is an absolute zoo now with stranded passengers.  I did see that Hyatt is offering some special rates at hotels in the Dallas area as a result of the storms, and they are also waiving cancellation policies for hotels in the area.  It wouldn’t surprise me if other hotels and offering something similar.

As for me, I am scheduled to fly home early in the morning through DFW on American.  Anyone want to place bets on whether or not my flights happen as scheduled?  I don’t have much flexibility in my schedule since I have to get back and take care of my kiddo, so I need to get home one way or another tomorrow.  With reports of over 100 American planes being inspected for hail damage at DFW, I am not confident that all will return to normal when the sun rises in the morning.  I am hopeful, but I am also eying other back-up options (including some options using points on other airlines) to get back to Houston tomorrow.  It’s always have to have a Plan B.

While the storm undoubtedly caused damage in the DFW area, I am glad that so far reports of injuries have been minimal.  Did the storms in Dallas impact your travel plans?  Wanna place odds on my flights in the morning?  😉

Update: I checked my segments for tomorrow and my SFO-DFW is showing on-time and looks like the plane is already there, however my DFW-IAH segment shows as cancelled.  Does American not have some automated system to let you know that has happened?  Of the two segments, I would clearly rather the DFW-IAH segment be the one that is cancelled since it leaves me closer to home and with more options.  Here’s hoping tomorrow is a smooth as possible for me and all the other American Airlines travelers out there!

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  1. Wow, good to hear that your flight was OK. Scary to hear the stories on the news. Welcome to the Bay Area, there’s no place like it!

    This story also reminds me that mileage runs are quite risky, especially for families. The “profit” margin is so slim (whether you want extra miles or higher status) that one weather delay/kid illness/nanny cancellation/flat tire can cost in the hundreds of dollars and negate any benefit.

  2. One thing, make sure they don’t reroute you, although I’m not sure there’s any sensible reroutings (I’m not sure if they fly say, LAX-IAH or ORD-IAH)…anyway the problem with rerouting is you may not get the DEQM!

  3. It’s was a non existent movement type of day, for sure. Mass shutdown of a major transit point has strangled the already maxed out availability of fewer seat market.

    Not much left to choose from anywhere to anywhere, even building connections via normally unused alternate routings.

    So please pack your patience, your sense of humor, your smiles for the very weary and stressed customer service folks. It’s not easy dealing with ALL the variables involved. We want you on the planes to your destination. Really, we do! It always easier when things are running smoothly. Yet, throw major storms and hundreds of canceled flights, 100 plus aircraft that have to be inspected for structural integrity(hail was golf ball size and covered the ground), 10 plus tornados doing significany damage all around the north Texas area, to standby emergency evacuation alert, WOW. What a day it was. Lots of rain and wind for quite awhile.

    Tomorrow, Wednesday, seats are on shortage, be prepared for further cancellations, delays and a packed terminal. Be kind to your other human travelers and staff(all the workers ~ building cleaners, to food and store folks, to the knowledgeable airline staff, airport volunteers, special service personnel). Let us get through this together, with civility, with manners and politeness, with dignity.

    Thank you for not yelling, thank you for your understanding. It is appreciated. Thank you for letting your “human” try to help and assist you get you where you need to be. Safely.

    Give me a smile and thank me if I have done the very best I can given the parameters involved with each of your very unique situations.

  4. you can request ORC (original routing credit) … need to call american to rebook you to houston.. i would not fly into DFW tomorrow…….

  5. I received an automated call around 6AM this morning that my flight had been cancelled and I had been re-routed. However, I had already figured that out my looking online. They re-routed me through LAX getting in at 1AM instead of 3PM. I went to the airport and was moved to a direct Untied flight to get into IAH at 3PM. Not sure what this will do to original routing credit or DEQM, but at least it will get me home today. Mileage runs are indeed not a family-friendly endeavor, but AA was great to me today.

  6. “Does American not have some automated system to let you know that has happened?”

    Sign up for their text message notifications. You’ll be notified as soon as Ops knows about any changes to scheduling or gates (typically long before delays are announced at the gate or onboard), and you’ll be notified when you’re rebooked or protected on alternate flights. I’ve more than once been able to hop off a delayed outbound at DFW and run to another one in part due to these notifications.

  7. @Jeanette, I can’t smile at you in person, but let this electronic smile 🙂 let you know that there were many who did appreciate you today as the human helping them to the best of your ability. Mil gracias.

  8. We were in OGG (Maui) Tuesday and were supposed to flybe OGG-LAX-DFW-ORD when we found out our connection flight home DFW-ORD was cancelled via text message. Couldnt get through to AA on phone and website was hanging when I was trying to get on. Drove to the Maui airport early. Agent recommended rebooking flight home via LAX only and avoiding DFW. Unfortunately no LAX-ORD availability showed for agent. So we wound up OGG-LAX-JFK-ORD yesterday. It was a lonnnnng day of flying home across the country and back to midwest, but we made it. That being said, we were lucky we missed going through DFW and saddened to see the damages in DFW area on the news as we arrived at the different airports for each layover.

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