Airline admits pilot scheduling error threatens holidays
Pilot scheduling is haunting another major airline after seriously damaging Ryanair’s reputation. Now American Airlines admits that its scheduling system may hurt its flights over the Christmas and New Year period.
A technical glitch has left the carrier without enough pilots to cover the busy upcoming holiday season. The news has ignited a social media uproar, Air Transport World reports.
The airline first disclosed the failure on November 24, according to the Allied Pilots Association, a union representing American’s 15,000 pilots.
Then, on Tuesday, American gave an update detailing “significant holes” in its pilot schedule bidding system operation. As many as 15,000 flights over period December 17 to 31 are affected.
Paying pilots 150%
American Airlines tells ATW that it is “working diligently to address the issue and expects to avoid cancellations this holiday season. We have reserve pilots to help cover flying in December, and we are paying pilots who pick up certain open trips 150% of their hourly rate – as much as we are allowed to pay them per the contract. We will work with the APA to take care of our pilots and ensure we get our customers to where they need to go over the holidays.”
However, the union shot back: “Because management unilaterally created their solution in violation of the contract, neither APA nor the contract can guarantee the promised payment of the premium being offered.”
The controversy comes a month after American revealed it had lost $75 million from its third-quarter profit, which totalled $624 million, due to the impact of the three hurricanes that hit the Caribbean and US mainland in August and September.