Published: Sat, December 02, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

American Airlines, Pilots Work Out Agreement on Holiday Schedule

American Airlines, Pilots Work Out Agreement on Holiday Schedule

The union said it withdrew a grievance after reaching an agreement in principle.

American, the world's biggest airline, expects to operate more than 200,000 flights in December.

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 that it should have. The scheduling glitch let pilots drop scheduled flights - to take a vacation over Christmas, for example - even when there were no other pilots available for that flight. That number of open flights continues to decrease thanks to our pilots who are stepping up to the plate and picking up trips to ensure customers are taken care of.

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American is including such reserve pilots in its assessment of the situation, while the union is not, American said.

"We can assure our customers that among the many stresses of the season, worry about a canceled flight won't be one of them", the airline's statement adds. He said the scheduling foul up threatened to cancel numerous flights.

Now the union is reportedly working with AA to address the shortage, with American offering pilots up to 150 per cent of their normal hourly wages to work over the holidays.

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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.

The Allied Pilots Association "met with American Airlines senior management today to discuss APA's grievance concerning restrictions on premium pay and trip trading for December flying", said the union in a statement. The scheduling issues mostly affect the busy holiday period in the second half of December.

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