American Airlines, Pilots Work Out Agreement on Holiday Schedule

American Airlines-Pilots

American was able to reach a deal with its pilots' union which represents the airline's over 15,000 active pilots.

On Wednesday, American acknowledged that a computer error had allowed too many pilots to schedule vacation time during the holidays.

However, it turned out that their good fortune in getting the holidays off was more than a spot of luck; there was a massive glitch that allowed pilots to schedule time off during a time when the airline couldn't afford to lose staff.

According to the Allied Pilots Association (APA), the glitch had left more than 15,000 flights without a captain, co-pilot or both between December 17 and December 31 at dozens of airports.

According to the Allied Pilots Association, the union representing the 15,000 pilots who fly for American Airlines, a failure within the system has produced "significant holes" in the operation. 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.

On Thursday, American provided an update that only "a few hundred" flights in December were without assigned pilots. The APA, meanwhile, advised pilots not to sign on, saying that the airline's solution violated the union contract. American offered pilots 1.5 times normal hourly pay to give up vacation time and cover the unassigned flights.

"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", the airline said in a statement.

"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 the carrier and the pilots' association have not disclosed the details of the settlement. "Thank you for your outstanding support and for your commitment to our passengers' interests, who can now count on American Airlines to take them to and from their holiday destinations around the globe".

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