American Airlines scheduling glitch allows pilots to cancel thousands of flights in July

An American Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner prepares to land at Miami International Airport on December 10, 2021 in Miami, Florida.

Joe Raedle | beautiful pictures

Allow a glitch in the scheduling platform American Airlines Their union said on Saturday it had dropped thousands of trips in July, giving the airline a headache as it tries to minimize flight disruption in one boom tourist season.

American has confirmed the issue and said it does not expect it to affect its operations, including during the July 4 holiday weekend.

“Due to this technical issue, certain trip purchases may be processed where it is not authorized,” the airline said in a statement. “We have restored the majority of affected trips and do not anticipate any operational impact because of this issue.”

More than 12,000 flights in July were missing a captain, first officer or both, after pilots dropped out of duty, the Allied Pilots Association said earlier.

Pilots can frequently drop off or pick up trips, but vacation time in the summer or holidays is hard to come by for airline employees because of peak schedules to cater to strong demand.

On Saturday alone, American had more than 3,000 mainline flights scheduled, and they were 93 percent full, according to an internal tally. However, non-delayed flights are an additional stress for any airline.

The glitch occurred during the rough start to the weekend of July 4 when thunderstorms and staffing issues caused thousands of US flights delayed and hundreds of cancellations.

America’s pilots union and them, whose relationship is already fractured, are in the midst of contract negotiations, and the airline most recently offered almost 17% increase by 2024. The union’s new president, Captain Ed Sicher, began his three-year term on Friday.

American pilots have recently protested against grueling schedules, which they want to address in a new contract. Pilot at Delta and Southwest selected in recent weeks for similar reasons.

American said it had suspended a platform that allowed pilots to change their schedules while it investigated the matter.

“We understand these are important tools for our pilots and are working as quickly as possible. We’ll provide updates during the day as we learn more,” American said. with the pilots in an email on Saturday.

Dennis Tajer, captain for American Airlines and a spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association, said the airline failed to keep its IT systems up and running and created “uncertainty for passengers and pilots. “

One same problem happened in 2017, when a technology problem allowed American pilots to take a vacation during the busy December holiday. The airline offers pilots 150% pay for pilots who have accepted the mission.

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