American Airlines hit by pilot scheduling glitch

Ryanair experienced its own scheduling glitch this past September

By: Theo Nichols

November 29, 2017

American Airlines 777, Credit: Wikimedia

A glitch in American Airlines’ pilot scheduling software has left the world’s largest airline without sufficient pilots for the busy holiday season. Over 15,000 flights are affected by the glitch, the Allied Pilots Association (APA) told Reuters.

By offering bonus pay to pilots who work shifts during the holidays, management is confident that no flights will be affected by the glitch. However, the APA has filed a grievance against the American Airlines management for violating the current labor contract with the bonus pay scheme.

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American Airlines is not the first airline to be affected by a pilot scheduling glitch this year. In September, UK low cost carrier Ryanair had to cancel nearly 20,000 flights affecting over 715,000 passengers as a result of a pilot vacation scheduling gaffe that has left flights understaffed or not staffed at all during the holiday season. Similar to American, Ryanair dangled bonus pay as an incentive to staff flights affected by the glitch. However, just like what American is experiencing, there was considerable labor pushback (Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary’s inflammatory comments did not help the situation). In fact, Ryanair pilots and crew used the spotlight of the scheduling fiasco to push for various concessions, such as better pay, permanent employment contracts, and unionization.

However, without a personality like Michael O’Leary at the helm, American Airlines should be able to get through the glitch in a much less controversial fashion.

american airlines ryanair pilot scheduling glitch

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