Glitch has American looking for pilots for holiday flights

Marsha Scott
December 3, 2017

The Fort Worth-based airline and the union representing its pilots worked out an agreement to make sure every plane has a crew.

The Christmas season is already a chaotic time for many people, but a computer glitch could make things even more hard for American Airlines and anyone scheduled to fly with them next month.

The trouble for American Airlines comes two months after Irish low-priced carrier Ryanair said it would cancel more 20,000 flights between November and March after admitting it "messed up" the transition to a new system for scheduling employee vacations.

The airline had said it would avoid canceling flights by paying overtime and using reserve or on-call pilots.

"Out of the 200,000 flights American will operate in December, only a few hundred are now unassigned to pilots", the airline said. American has hubs in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. American is a founding member of the oneworld alliance, whose members and members-elect serve almost 1,000 destinations with 14,250 daily flights to 150 countries.

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American, the world's largest carrier, runs a big hub in Philadelphia with 390 daily flights, and will operate 200,000 flights throughout its system in December.

But the union representing pilots disputed the airline's calculations, saying Thursday that "thousands of flights are still listed as unassigned". But that means American will have to rebuild its schedule and is offering pilots time and a half their normal hourly wage.

"The APA leadership met with American Airlines senior management today to discuss APA's grievance concerning restrictions on premium pay and trip trading for December flying".

Both sides expressed satisfaction afterward, although neither American nor the union would disclose details.

"With this agreement in principle, we anticipate that American Airlines will be able to maintain a full December schedule as planned for its passengers", the union said. By working together, we can assure customers that among the many stresses of the season, worrying about a canceled flight won't be one of them.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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