After glitch, American Air finds pilots for most December flights

01 Décembre, 2017, 02:55 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
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As CBS2's Marc Liverman reported, it might be a little harder to get into the holiday spirit this year for passengers scheduled to fly North America's largest airline.

Multiple media outlets are reporting that American Airlines is blaming computer issues that allowed all pilots to take vacation over Christmas week. But flights at Washington's Reagan National, Boston's Logan International, Miami International, New York's LaGuardia, Philadelphia International, Salt Lake City International and Charlotte Douglas International airports are also affected.

While American Airlines says only a "few hundred" flights remain without pilots, the Allied Pilots Association says the true number of flights still in jeopardy on cancellation is in the "thousands".

"This is a potential crisis that we see well in advance", said Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the union.

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"Today, management issued an update detailing the 'significant holes" in the operation and unilaterally invoked a solution for crewing affected flights.

"That data does not support management's statement regarding December flights that 'only a few hundred are now unassigned to pilots, ' " the union said. "Through their efforts, they have whittled it down to only a few hundred impacted flights out of the 200,000 flights American is expected to operate during the month of December".

American spokesman Matt Miller told the Dallas Morning News that the company plans to fix the issue. "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". Reserve pilots, however, can only pick up flights 24 hours before departure, so the flights that they are eventually assigned to are now unclaimed. Still, industry experts say the increased complexity of airline computer systems is to blame for a growing number of glitches that have recently grounded airplanes and posted ultra-cheap airfares.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier is offering pilots 1.5 times their normal hourly wage to pick up some of the flights, the top rate laid out in their contract, Miller said. You want the days off? A larger-than-normal number of pilots on standby during December should cover "many" of the remaining trips without assigned pilots, he said. He said American has not canceled any December flights.

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