Published: Thu, November 30, 2017
Money | By Charlene Sutton

American Airlines pilots given too much Christmas holiday

American Airlines pilots given too much Christmas holiday

"Basically there's a crisis at American for manning the cockpits", said Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association.

A company memo obtained by Bloomberg said flights scheduled without a captain and/or first officer originate from Dallas, Boston, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City and Charlotte.

The airline is now offering 150 percent of hourly wages for pilots willing to work those dates, an airline spokesperson told CNBC. but that's not exactly an eye-popping compensation increase in the face of what is a pretty darn messy snafu.

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The system error was disclosed to pilots on Friday, the union said.

It has about 15,000 active pilots and expects to operate more than 200,000 flights in December.

American pared share gains on the news, climbing 1.3 percent to $49.86 at 1:51 p.m.in NY, easily the smallest gain on a Standard & Poor's index of the five biggest US airlines. American spokesman Matt Miller declined to quantify the potential number of flights involved, saying the airline expects to correct the problem and avoid cancellations.

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However, the union has filed a grievance against the airline, stating this violates pilot contracts. We will work with the APA to take care of our pilots and ensure we get our customers to where they need to go over the holidays.

Reuters reports that as of early Wednesday, the union said American Airlines management had not reached out to talk about how to approach the pilot shortage.

This could mean that a great deal of flights are cancelled or unable to fly as American Airlines scrambles to fix the issue over the festive period. "And we don't want to see that happening for our passengers", Tajer said.

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