20080410 american airlines cancellations 18
An American Airlines arrivals list at LaGuardia Airport in New York City. - 


KAI RYSSDAL: Today's day three of delays for passengers on American Airlines. The country's biggest carrier has cancelled 2,500 flights over the past 72 hours as it tries to get right with a Federal Aviation Administration maintenance and inspection audit.

CEO Gerald Arpey got on the phone with reporters today to say, in essence, that he was sorry. He also said the whole debacle's going to cost the company in the tens of millions of dollars.

On Capitol Hill, Senator Jay Rockefeller was chairing a committee hearing on the cancellations and aviation safety. He put the blame squarely on the FAA.

JAY ROCKEFELLER: The FAA is an agency spiraling downward, and I think approaching the losing of the confidence of the American people and of the Congress.

Follow Kai Ryssdal at @kairyssdal