United cancels only nine Thanksgiving Day flights

CHICAGO - United Airlines canceled just nine of its 2,300 flights Thursday, a significant drop from the number canceled earlier this week in the pre-Thanksgiving holiday travel rush, and well below the average.

Thanksgiving is traditionally a light travel day, and United expects to accommodate all 190,000 passengers booked on flights systemwide, a recorded phone message said.

Like the majority of flights canceled this week, Thursday's flights were grounded because of maintenance operations. On Monday, United canceled 121 flights, but that number dropped to 43 on Tuesday and 46 on Wednesday - typically one of the busiest travel days of the year.

United cancels an average of 44 flights a day for various reasons.

The cancellations come as the company is locked in contentious labor negotiations with its mechanics.

United has said the mechanics have caused hundreds of cancellations this month by doubling the maintenance time and sharply increasing the number of planes taken out of service for maintenance.

On Friday, the airline obtained a court order barring the mechanics from carrying out a work slowdown, and filed court documents Wednesday accusing the mechanics of violating the terms of the injunction.

The mechanics, however, say the aircraft that are pulled from service have maintenance problems and there is not an organized work slowdown.


On the Net:

United: http://www.united.com

United Machinists: www.iam141.org


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