Airline blames glitch for lack of pilots over Christmas

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Airline blames glitch for lack of pilots over Christmas

The leading airline has not yet canceled any scheduled flights in December as a result of the glitch, Aran Coello said, and "will continue to work to ensure both our pilots and our customers are cared for".

However, American's pilot union, the Allied Pilots Association, expressed a contrary view, saying it has not agreed to any resolution, and complaining the company had not sought input from its members in crafting a solution.

"We remain seriously concerned about the potential for significant schedule disruption for our passengers, pilots, and fellow employees during the critical holiday travel season", the union said.

American Airlines, the largest US airline, is now offering pilots 150 percent of hourly pay to work those dates, an airline spokesman said. American did not say whether it sweetened the deal to get more pilots to sign up.

It is now being reported that the airline is offering pilots time-and-a-half to cover flights over the busy few weeks during the holidays.

The dispute appears to indicate that American is counting heavily on staffing flights with "reserve" pilots.

Some 15,000 flights out of major hubs, including Miami, Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago O'Hare and New York's LaGuardia Airport, are now estimated to be without pilots, CNBC reports. The computer said, Hey ya'll. You want the days off? "We will work with the APA [Allied Pilots Association] to take care of our pilots and ensure we get our customers to where they need to go over the holidays". In addition, we have more reserve pilots on hand in December than normal months and they provide us with the ability to fly numerous trips that are now uncovered.

Earlier this year, Ryanair, a budget airline in Ireland, cancelled close to 2,000 flights in September so its staff could take a vacation, leaving thousands of flyers without flights for their holidays. The number of flights involved will decline each day as the carrier reassigns them, he said.

The APA statement reads: 'On Friday, management disclosed a failure within the pilot schedule bidding system.

In my opinion, the APA should not be The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (or who stole the pilots) and allow American Airlines to "pony up" the promised cash for the pilots.

"We are being told to expect business as usual", said Beardsley.

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