Well, this is a pretty major glitch. The Allied Pilots Association (APA) is the union representing American’s pilots, and they’ve just revealed a major issue that management reported to them. Apparently due to a computer glitch, virtually all pilots got the holidays off, meaning that 15,000+ flights don’t have pilots scheduled yet.
Apparently this impacts flights between December 17 and 31, 2017. Per Reuters, here’s what representatives for the union and American had to say:
“Basically there’s a crisis at American for manning the cockpits,” said Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association.
“We are working through this to make sure we take care of our pilots and get our customers where they need to go over the holiday,” American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller said on Wednesday.
“I‘m watching a ‘Grinch that stole Christmas’ thing happening. And we don’t want to see that happening for our passengers,” Tajer said.
American is trying to solve this issue by offering 150% pay for holiday flights that don’t presently have pilots rostered, though the union isn’t happy about that, as this has been done without consulting them. Per the APA, management has “unilaterally invoked a solution for crewing affected flights,” which the union claims is in direct violation of the pilot contract.
Because management’s actions are unilateral, the union claims that “the APA nor the contract can guarantee the promised payment of the premium being offered.” Then the union adds this note:
By not including APA in developing collaborative solutions to this critical holiday scheduling failure, management’s actions contrast with their handling of previous scheduling failures involving other work groups. This stands in direct opposition to the company mantra of “Validating the Trust” and the stated goal of making culture a competitive advantage. Management’s actions likewise jeopardize any collaborative effort to ensure our passengers have a pilot crew to take them to their important holiday events.
On the plus side, at least they’re realizing this more than a couple of weeks in advance, so presumably they’ll be able to come up with a solution at some cost. However, what a major oversight…
(Tip of the hat to @aheeger)