After a nightmare glitch, the top brass at American Airlines is claiming that the problem has been ameliorated, for the most part. It all started a few weeks back, when pilots found that they were easily able to schedule time off during the month of December. However, it turned out that their good fortune in getting the holidays off was more than a spot of luck; there was a massive glitch that allowed pilots to schedule time off during a time when the airline couldn’t afford to lose staff. This meant that, during the busiest travel time of the year, many flights were left without pilots.
As soon as the pilots’ union noticed the problem, they brought it to the public’s attention in order to ward off any issues ahead of time. With American Airlines operating a whopping 200,000 flights during the month of December, having 15,000 planes without pilots was a true business crisis. Although the union has been transparent about the issue since it started, the airline has been less than forthcoming about the embarrassing problem. It’s not difficult to see why; if they haven’t made their reservations yet, savvy travelers could decide to avoid American so they can feel more secure in their travel plans. With winter travel already harrowing sometimes—due to snow and ice storms—it is easy to understand why many consumers would actively take measures to head off another problem.
However, the latest word from the airline is that these issues have been addressed. In fact, the executives at American Airlines are claiming that the flights in question are now staffed, for the most part. Offering incentives such as extra compensation for picking up flights, the leadership team at American was anxious to get this problem addressed as soon as possible. Whether or not their efforts actually worked remains to be seen in the coming month.