WBS Airport doesn't expect lack of pilots for its American Airlines flights

Glitch by the world's biggest airline could see 15000 festive flights grounded

American Airlines and its pilot union are having a public spat over just how many of its holiday flights don't have a pilot assigned.

The pilots' union had said that more than 15,000 flights lacked a captain, co-pilot or both when a problem was discovered in the company's scheduling system. The union wants to consult with American to find a remedy that will motivate pilots to give up vacation they've already been granted after years of working over the holidays, Tajer said. American did not say whether it sweetened the deal to get more pilots to sign up.

As a result, American Airlines' top brass are scrambling in an attempt to rectify the problem, offering increased pay to lure the scheduled vacation pilots back to work that week.

American Airlines flies out of Salt Lake City International.

Thousands of pilots were able to schedule breaks December 17-31, leaving flights scheduled to depart from American's most bustling hubs pilotless, including airports in New York City, Miami, Dallas and Chicago.

"The system went from responsibly scheduling everybody to becoming Santa Claus to everyone", APA spokesman Dennis Tajer said to CNBC Wednesday.

The airline did not say how many flights were affected or the exact time period of affected flights.

That said, spokesperson for the airline Matt Miller has said that the airline expects to avoid any cancellations over the holiday period.

"That number of open flights continues to decrease thanks to our pilots who are stepping up to the plate and picking up trips to ensure customers are taken care of", Aran Coello said in a statement. The computer said, Hey ya'll. But the number was high enough that the carrier had to quickly adopt several new measures to keep its holiday flights on schedule. The union said it has access to American's December crew assignments "in real time", and that "thousands of flights are still listed as unassigned". The union added: "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".

In my opinion, the APA should not be The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (or who stole the pilots) and allow American Airlines to "pony up" the promised cash for the pilots.

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