JetBlue flights continued to be canceled for a second consecutive weekend at Logan Airport and may persist for some time as the airline struggles with staffing shortages.
There were more than 70 delays and 16 cancellations to start the week Monday at Boston's airport, after more than 50 additional JetBlue flights were grounded Sunday.
“When I woke up this morning and I heard that it was two weekends in a row, I said ‘Oh my goodness I hope that that’s not going to be our situation,’" said Logan passenger Latoya Watts. “We were actually praying on the way here, please let it be on time.”
Last weekend, more than 700 JetBlue flights to and from Boston were either canceled or delayed, leaving thousands of people stranded. Last week's disruptions were due to severe weather in the southeast and technical problems on their end, according to JetBlue.
While the airline has often pointed to weather as a key issue, Angelo Cucuzza from the Transport Workers Union -- which represents JetBlue flight attendants -- says staffing is the overwhelming reason for all the problems.
“They simply do not have enough flight attendants for the amount of flights that they schedule,” said Cucuzza. “What we’re seeing consistently week in and week out is a meltdown at JetBlue.”
The union says the software system that helps schedule crews is outdated, and many flight attendants are being called outside the window when they're supposed to be notified of assignments, sometimes with just hours before they need to be on duty.
“They are getting calls in the middle of the night when they’re supposed to be sleeping,” said Cucuzza.
The union says flight attendants are routinely filing grievances against the airline.
“They are so desperate to man the flights that they have that they’re simply taking the rule book and throwing it out the window,” said Cucuzza.
In a letter to employees, JetBlue’s president acknowledged the airline is short staffed and seeing elevated levels of attrition.
The airline says it is cutting flights by up to 10% for May -- and likely for the whole summer -- hiring hundreds of workers every week, and updating some of its scheduling technology...but not until 2024.
A spokesperson for JetBlue told NBC Boston the disruptions are due to staffing shortages, despite hiring more than 3,000 new crewmembers this year.
"Like many businesses, we remain staffing constrained and these disruptions exacerbate an already challenging staffing situation," an airline spokesperson said in a written statement.
The airline anticipates making "a small schedule adjustment through the rest of the month," the statement read. "We sincerely apologize to our customers for these disruptions, and we are working to cancel flights in advance whenever possible so they have time to adjust their plans and do not need to show up to the airport."
Upset passengers were sitting in the airport Monday after their flights were suddenly cancelled.
While JetBlue has cancelled hundreds of flights over the past several weeks, travel agent Sam Erenfeld says the airline is not alone.
“It’s not unique to JetBlue," Erenfeld said. "I had it with Southwest. I had it with American Airlines. We had headaches with different airlines.”
That’s one reason changing carriers to avoid trouble is tough. And there’s another.
“People are buying the ticket long time in advance so you don’t know what will be the situation in the future and usually we have to react at that particular moment,” Erenfeld said.
Like Theresa Ingalls -- who was supposed fly JetBlue from Syracuse to Boston, but it was cancelled at the last minute.
“I looked at my sister and said we’re taking the Subaru to Boston cause we’re on our way to Ireland so we were going to fly from Syracuse to Boston and take Aer Lingus up in Boston. So we had to drive to Boston versus flying,” Ingalls said.
That option is not available to everyone, though. Tanikka Myers was waiting in the airport for a friend who was supposed to fly in from Los Angeles on Sunday.
"His flight was randomly cancelled and reassigned to today," Myers said of her friend, noting he found out about the change when he checked his email on his way to the airport.
Myers says the email her friend received from the airline was overly optimistic.
“They made it sound like they did him a favor by reassigning his assignment. They made it convenient for him. Those are the words they used. They made it convenient,” she recalled.
JetBlue Airways has already announced that the airline is planning to trim its summer schedule to avoid flight disruptions.