Thousands of Valley air passengers were grounded Wednesday, and some may be stuck again today. American Airlines canceled more than 1,000 flights Wednesday to inspect and service planes with possible wiring problems.

The airline also canceled more than 900 flights Thursday.

It was the latest — and largest — in a wave of cancellations at major U.S. airlines that have caused long lines at ticket counters and made flying even more stressful than usual.

Dallas-based American has 16 daily departures and 16 arrivals at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. All but a few were scratched Wednesday, said Claire Simeone, Sky Harbor spokeswoman.

American confirmed 13 scheduled Sky Harbor departures and 10 arrivals were canceled but could not say whether today’s flight schedule will be equally decimated.

“We are working on (it) now. We encourage customers to check for flight status,” Andrea Huguely, airline spokeswoman, said Wednesday afternoon.

After 450 flights were canceled Tuesday, American scrubbed Wednesday flights on the fly, so to speak, as maintenance operations tried to get planes back in service in time for scheduled takeoffs.

Passengers jammed airport ticket counters and American’s phone lines.

The airline passed out snacks and drinks to waiting passengers at Sky Harbor ticket counters.

American boosted its staff at Sky Harbor, and employees of other airlines stopped by to offer empty seats to beleaguered customer service agents trying to rebook stranded passengers.

By late afternoon, lines at American ticket counters were significantly shorter, Simeone said.

An optimistic assurance early Wednesday that American would be back to full service by today was replaced late in the day by a wait-and-see observation.

“We continue to inspect every airplane to ensure we are in total agreement with the specifications of the directive. We will get back to a full schedule as quickly as possible,” American Airlines CEO Gerard Arpey said in a prepared statement.

American conducted the inspections of its MD-80s to comply with a Federal Aviation Administration directive related to the bundling of wires in the wheel wells of the aircraft.

American’s sudden maintenance-related grounding is the most massive, but certainly not the only recent incident affecting flight schedules.

In the last few weeks, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Southwest Airlines have had to reinspect planes for potential maintenance issues or lapses, temporarily grounding portions of their fleets.

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