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March 25, 2011

Miami fuel fire causes American to cancel more flights for a second day

Thursday morning's fire at Miami airport's fuel facility may be out, but the blaze is still affecting American Airlines flights a day later.

The Fort Worth-based carrier cancelled about 172 flights in and out of Miami on Friday because of problems fueling aircraft at the airport. American had cancelled a similar amount on Thursday, said American spokesman Ed Martelle.

The fire damaged the underground fueling system and five pumps on the north side of the airport, he said. Now there are only two pumps on the south side of the airport that all of Miami's carriers have to use with tanker trucks.

American currently is using 10 tanker trucks at Miami to fuel its aircraft instead of the usual underground system. As a result, it can take as long as five hours to fuel one Boeing 777 aircraft.

Some American aircraft are being flown into Miami with heavier fuel loads so they don't have to refuel at Miami, Martelle said. Others are given fuel to take-off and land at Orlando, Tampa or Fort Lauderdale where they can refuel before continuing on to their destination.

American said it is allowing customers flying in or out of Miami to make a change to their flight plans without a charge, although fare differences may apply. Customers whose flights are cancelled will be rebooked.

-Andrea Ahles


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Jeffrey Skeahan

Our flight to Miami from Antigua was cancelled Saturday morning and we could not get another flight home until Tuesday. AA waived the change fee but we were told any other changes would incur a fee. Our travel agent has not been updated by AA about the delays due to the fire.



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