American Airlines Reaches Deal With Pilots Over Scheduling Error

American Airlines Reaches Deal With Pilots Over Scheduling Error

American Airlines Reaches Deal With Pilots Over Scheduling Error

Because of what the airline is calling "a processing error" in its scheduling system, American mistakenly allowed many more pilots to take time off over the holidays than it should have.

The two sides had disagreed on how to overcome the glitch, which had left thousands of flights scheduled without a captain, a co-pilot or both between December 17 and December 31 at dozens of airports including hubs in Dallas, Chicago and Miami.

American Airlines thanked its pilots "who are doing their part to cover the holiday schedule and beyond".

Initially, the carrier was planning on using reserve and on-call pilots in addition to paying many pilots over time to ensure no flights have to be canceled, but the APA did not approve of this solution, stating that American violated the labor contract by creating a solution without any input from the union.

The flights without pilots include departures from big hubs like Miami, Dallas Fort-Worth, O'Hare in Chicago and LaGuardia Airport in New York, CNBC reported.

The error caused the scheduling system to show that the airline had sufficient crew for some flights when it did not.

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American has about 200,000 flights scheduled for December and operates an average of 6,700 daily.

But the union representing pilots disputed the airline's calculations, saying Thursday that "thousands of flights are still listed as unassigned".

Out of the 200,000 flights American will operate in December, only a few hundred are now unassigned to pilots.

Union leaders estimated there were as many as 15,000 flights without pilots, many right around Christmas, that put a lot of plans in jeopardy.

Both sides expressed satisfaction afterward, although neither American nor the union would disclose details. "The last thing we want to see is any kind of massive schedule disruption around the holidays".

If you haven't booked your holiday travel yet (though you probably should have), consider an airline other than American, said Sarah Schlichter, senior editor for SmarterTravel, a travel website. We have not canceled any scheduled flights in December and will continue to work to ensure both our pilots and our customers are cared for. "In short, if Santa is flying, so is American".

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