Getting off the ground with American Airlines is easier said then done these days.
Stranded passenger Peter March told ABC 4 News, "I just heard the pilots were showing up late for no reason and making up excuses for things like a light bulb not working."
March and ABC 4 reporter Kimberly Nelson were among the hundreds of passengers forced to spend the night in Dallas Sunday because they couldn't make connecting flights due to major American Airlines delays.
"They didn't even say sorry and they didn't try to apologize,” explained March. “They just gave us a dinner voucher and paid for the hotel room but didn’t offer any flight vouchers or compensation for us missing work."
In the past month, more than 1,000 American Airlines flights have been cancelled and 12,000 delayed. The company says the pilots are intentionally delaying flights by showing up late and filing frivolous maintenance reports.
Bruce Hicks, Spokesperson for American Airlines said Thursday, "We have some of our pilots who are disrupting the operation and if this doesn't stop we're left with no other choice but to go to court."
The pilots union argues there are serious maintenance issues with the aging fleet. In the past three days alone, two American Airlines planes were forced to make emergency landings after rows of passenger seats came loose.
One passenger recalled the experience saying, "The seats flipped backwards and so people were essentially on the laps of passengers behind them with their legs up in the air.”
While no one argues loose seats are a serious safety hazard, the 97% increase in maintenance delays this month alone has travelers questioning the validity of the claims.
Passenger Tom Batz told ABC 4 News, "We had about an hour delayed all together with various broke switches, paper work delays a myriad of maintenance people on board the plane. I would say it was suspect today."