Today United Airlines canceled almost 60 flights at airports around the country, bringing the airline’s total cancellations since December 23rd over 1,100 flights—far more than any of its rivals. United’s official excuse is weather, but according to the Reuters, pilots are saying United’s decision to scale back staffing has lead to the scheduling disaster.
United’s pilots union blamed management for the poor operational performance over the holiday period.
“They have pared employee staffing to the bare minimum, making them unable to respond to even well-anticipated weather events,” the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) said in a newspaper ad that ran on Sunday.
United’s spokeswoman fought back, saying it has nothing to do with staffing:
United disputed ALPA’s claim, saying it had 115 more pilots in December than it did a year earlier. That equates to a 2 percent increase in the number of pilots, despite a 1.5 percent decrease in flying, United’s McCarthy said.
“United cancels more flights, pilots dispute cause” [Reuters]