Apparently American Airlines Doesn’t Have Enough Pilots for the Holidays

Then who's flying the plane?

November 29, 2017 9:00 am

They’re not dragging passengers off the plane like United, but American is making headlines today for not boarding a crucial member of the flight staff: the pilot.

According to a statement from the Allied Pilots Association, a glitch in American’s pilot scheduling system caused thousands of flights from December 17th to 31st to be booked without a pilot.

The glitch has since been corrected, but that doesn’t change the fact that over 15,000 flights do not have enough personnel. Currently, flights from Dallas-Fort Worth, Boston, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City and Charlotte are still scheduled without a captain, first officer or both, according to The Dallas Morning News.

American plans to fix the issue with extra incentives. 

“We are working diligently to address the issue and expect to avoid cancellations this holiday season,” an airline spokesperson told The Verge. “We have reserve pilots to help cover flying in December, and we are paying pilots who pick up certain open trips 150% of their hourly rate – as much as we are allowed to pay them per the contract. 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.”

The cash Band-Aid sounds great, but it’s still unclear how this situation will play out. We’ll be keeping an eye out on it though — your humble correspondent is flying American on December 26th.

Or is he?


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