The sun is shining, the weather is clear and bright, and yet your flight today has been canceled. While you shake your fist at the cloudless sky, here’s the reason why there’s been an uptick in canceled American Airlines flights recently, as well as the potential for more cancellations in the future: American Airlines’ parent company AMR is having a tough time dealing with its pilots and as such, many pilots have allegedly been calling in sick.
There’s also been an increase in maintenance reports filed by pilots, said an American Airlines spokesman.
Yesterday the airline had canceled 51 flights, which is more than twice the number of the airline next in line with cancellations, reports the Chicago Tribune. On Tuesday afternoon there were already 35 cancellations planned for Wednesday, for a total of 243 nationwide this week.
It’s not going to end here, either — American will reduce its schedule through October 1 by 1-2%.
“It’s an attempt to preplan and better accommodate our passengers by canceling in advance and changing the schedule to reaccommodate people … to give them plenty of notice before they get to the airport and find a flight canceled,” the spokesman said, even though the company doesn’t think there’s any organized action at work by the pilots. “We recognize these adjustments may affect our customers, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”
The pilots’ union says it hasn’t planned any sickout but that things aren’t great, anyway.
“The pilots of American Airlines are angry,” the president of Allied Pilots Association wrote to members. “While AMR management continues paying lip service to needing a consensual agreement with us, their punitive approach of extracting far more value than they need is hardly conducive to reaching a consensual agreement. In fact, they have made that critical task even more difficult.”
American Airlines cancels flights on alleged pilots’ ‘sickout’ [Chicago Tribune]