It was back to business as usual on Sunday for American Airlines parent AMR (NYSE: AMR). After canceling more than 3,000 flights over the past week for inspections and wiring modifications on its entire fleet of MD-80 planes, Sunday was the first day the carrier had run its full slate of flights since last Monday.

But is it really business as usual? How many times do you think displaced passengers have muttered the phrase "I will never fly American again" over the past week?

This situation goes beyond the obvious financial hits of reimbursing passengers or paying any potential FAA fines. AMR had bounced back from years of losses that stung most of the legacy carriers post-9/11. But even if Wall Street is looking for a loss out of AMR when it posts its first-quarter results come Wednesday, the company has now rattled off positive earnings in six of the past seven quarters.

The saving grace for AMR is that stranded customers are running out of options. Several smaller carriers, including ATA, Frontier, Skybus, and Aloha, have all filed for bankruptcy protection recently, even though Frontier continues to operate. Higher fuel prices are also pinching profits in the industry, but it's not as though hitting the open road instead is going to be any cheaper for travelers.

Grumbling is relative. There are things far worse than delayed flights. AMR just has to make sure it responds properly to the venomous ire, even if it means working to win back every fuming flier who had to snake his or her way to the AMR customer-service airport counter this past week.

News to go
Want an image that you won't be able to erase from your memory any time soon? Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is a big tipper that walks into a strip club, and now everybody in the place wants to give it a lap dance. (I warned you that the image would be permanently etched in your noggin.) After overbidding for aQuantive and a chunk of Facebook, now it's Microhoo's turn to work the pole. Yahoo!'s (Nasdaq: YHOO) top brass met on Friday to discuss the alternatives to hooking up with Mr. Softy, but few exit strategies or corporate combinations are likely to yield a higher value than what Steve Ballmer is willing to pay. Will Microsoft up the ante or walk away? Yahoo! is doing its part to make Microsoft jealous by discussing partnerships with companies such as Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and AOL, but we all know it will be hard to resist Ballmer's bucks.

Just in time for prom season, Sony (NYSE: SNE) scored box-office gold with its weekend debut of Prom Night. The slasher-film remake topped the box office with $22.7 million in ticket sales. That may not seem like much, but we're still a few weeks away from when the summer blockbusters start elbowing for relevance. As for Prom Night, what is it that makes proms such a popular horror-flick setting? I don't know about you, but my high school prom was a festive affair, completely devoid of serial killers, online whodunits, or falling buckets of pig blood. OK, so maybe the chicken was a little rubbery and the rice pilaf a tad dry. My corsage-pinning skills were also suspect. Nothing is perfect. But for Sony, the Prom Night score is notable because the film overtook Sony's own 21 for the top spot. It's not too often that a studio gets to hand the crown -- or, in this case, the prom queen's tiara -- to itself.

In a move that sounds desperate but actually makes sense, Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI) announced that it is offering to buy Circuit City (NYSE: CC) in a deal for $6 to $8 a share but that the struggling consumer-electronics chain has rebuffed it. Maybe the name CircuitBuster just doesn't have a very favorable connotation, but the combination would be a good way for Blockbuster to get its head back into the game on the retail end.

Have a great day out there.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz believes that breakfast is an important part of the day. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story and is part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.