Last Thursday (7/5) I was to fly on American Eagle's new RJ service from LGA to RDU. The flight 4511 was to depart LGA at 1800 and arrive RDU at 1950.
Well, we all board the plane, no problem, then we taxi around and of course there are weather delays so we hold our position on the apron for 2+ hours. No problem, I understand the drill. Then, we taxi back to the gate area to get more gas because of the wait. After refuelling, we taxi back out and get in line for takeoff. 1+ hours later and #3 in line to takeoff, the first officer realizes that if he continues the flight as scheduled, he will exceed his 16 hour daily limit. So, back to the gate at 2200 to drop off the FO and find another legal one. Guess what? None to be found so the flight is cancelled.
So, my fellow passengers and I climb up the stairs to make arrangements for our flight the next morning (no more RDU flights on 7/5) and to make hotel arrangements.
BUT WAIT!!! The flight was cancelled due to WEATHER DELAYS!!!!! No hotel for us! - All 12 of us on the plane!
Fortunately, I was travelling on business and didn't have to worry about footing the bill, but 6 others, including a cancer patient, didn't have that luxury and slept at the airport.
While waiting for the hotel shuttle, I ran into the Captian from my flight and asked him why the flight was cancelled. He confirmed that it was because the FO was going to exceed his limit and NOT due to weather. He said that they (AA) put weather as the reason for the cancellation because they have to put a code in the system!!!!
What a load of horseshit!