CHICAGO, US - AMR Corp's American Airlines said on Wednesday about 35 flights have been delayed from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport after the software that controls the baggage sorting conveyor belt malfunctioned.
Workers were sorting bags by hand, but many items were not being put on flights before departure, AMR said in a statement.
Delays range from an hour to an hour and a half.
'So, we are announcing the issue to passengers and allowing them to choose whether they go on the flight or not,' AMR said.
'Once we have the issue resolved, we'll get the bags that are left behind on their way to the customer's destination and delivered to them.'
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the region's airports, declined comment, saying baggage handling is the responsibility of the airlines.
AMR said it would waive the fees it charges to check a first and second bag on Wednesday. Earlier this year, AMR and its rivals implemented the controversial fees on domestic flights to offset the soaring price of jet fuel.
AMR noted, however, that most of the delayed flights are international, so the fees do not apply in most cases.
US airlines are under increasing pressure to limit delays and cancellations as they fly fuller aircraft to lower costs.
More than a quarter of flights operated by major US airlines and their affiliates were delayed last year, with on- time performance suffering most at New York-area airports. The New York region handles about a third of all domestic air traffic.
AMR shares were down 8.44 per cent at US$8.68 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange. -- REUTERS