American says this can be you after all, this holidays.
An error in the system that bids for pilots' time off based on seniority was responsible for approving too much time off to too many pilots in December, American disclosed to employees last week, launching the carrier into a frenzied effort to cover thousands of then-pilotless scheduled flights.
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. It all started a few weeks back, when pilots found that they were easily able to schedule time off during the month of December. 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.
American Airlines reached an agreement Friday with its pilots' union to avoid having to cancel thousands of flights during the Christmas holiday season because of a glitch with the pilots' schedules.
American had offered its pilots 150 percent of their hourly pay rate to pick up certain flights in the busy holiday period, but APA complained that restrictions on premium pay and the ability to trade trips were in violation of the group's contract.
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"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.
About American Airlines Group American Airlines and American Eagle offer an average of almost 6,700 flights per day to almost 350 destinations in more than 50 countries. "As always, when there's a need, the American Airlines team comes together to take care of each other and our customers".
On Friday, after pilots sat down with American's senior leadership, the union announced it had withdrawn a grievance, which said that American's initial solution to the staffing shortage violated the pilots' contract because of how it restricted overtime pay.
The APA, in its own statement, confirmed that American "will be able to maintain a full December schedule as planned for its passengers".