American Airlines Facing Severe Pilot Shortage in December

Nov 29, 2017

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Don’t you hate it when the boss asks you to cancel your vacation plans? Well, a lot of American Airlines pilots are potentially facing this situation after a bug in the pilot scheduling system allowed too many pilots to request time off around the holidays. Now, the world’s largest airline is scrambling to get enough pilots for flights departing just weeks from now.

According to a Allied Pilots Association (APA) press release Tuesday, AA management explained the situation to the pilot union last Friday. The union notes that currently “thousands of flights currently do not have pilots assigned to fly them during the upcoming critical holiday period.” The union isn’t happy with the carrier’s attempts to fix the situation, filing a grievance indicating that the airline’s proposed solution violates its labor contract.

Bloomberg reports that “more than 15,000 flights” don’t have sufficient crew for the crucial holiday travel period between December 17 and 31. The airline’s pilot scheduling system originally showed that there was plenty of coverage for these flights, allowing too many pilots to request time off for the holidays.

An AA spokesperson confirmed the situation and noted that the airline is “working diligently to address the issue.” The airline is offering extra pay to pilots who pick up flights during this time — 150% of their hourly rate. The spokesperson notes that this increased rate is “as much as [American Airlines] are allowed to pay them per the contract.”

At this point, the airline is optimistic that things will work out. AA expects to “avoid cancellations this holiday season” and “will work with the APA to take care of [its] pilots and ensure [it] get[s] [its] customers to where they need to go over the holidays.”

If the airline can’t solve the problem soon, American Airlines will follow Ryanair in having to issue mass flight cancellations due to a scheduling error.

Featured image by Digital Light Source via Getty Images

 

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.