American Airlines, pilots union say computer glitch resolved


American Airlines and the union that represents its pilots announced late Friday that they had resolved a scheduling error that had put more than 15,000 flights at risk of cancellation during the busy December travel season. 

"We are pleased to report that together, American and the Allied Pilots Association have put that worry to rest to make sure our flights will operate as scheduled," the airline said in a statement. "By working together, we can assure customers that among the many stresses of the season, worrying about a canceled flight won't be one of them."  

A collective shudder went through holiday travelers on Tuesday, when reports surfaced that problems with the airline's computerized scheduling system left some flights without pilots. American declined to say how many flights were affected, by the Allied Pilots Association which represents 15,000 pilots at the airline said that more than 15,000 were at risk of being grounded.  

The bulk of those cancellations were between Dec. 17 and Dec. 31 and affected airports included the airline's biggest hub, Dallas-Fort Worth as well as flights at Washington's Reagan National, Boston's Logan International, Miami International, New York's LaGuardia, Philadelphia International, Salt Lake City International and Charlotte Douglas International.  

American hoped to lure pilots back to work by offering them 150 percent of their regular salary - a move that angered the union, which had not been consulted about the plan.  

On Wednesday, when a spokesman for the airline announced that only "a few hundred flights" were without pilots - the union quickly disputed that number saying thousands remained understaffed.  

But it appears that by Friday the differences had been resolved.  

A statement addressed to pilots and posted on the union's website indicated that their concerns had been resolved following a meeting earlier in the day with airline officials.  

"APA and management have reached an agreement in principle addressing our respective needs, and we have withdrawn our grievance," the statement read. "With this agreement in principle, we anticipate that American Airlines will be able to maintain a full December schedule as planned for its passengers."


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Travel

Indoor velodrome expected to draw cyclists to Detroit

DETROIT (AP) — An indoor cycling track in Detroit is expected to draw bike riders from other cold-weather states and across the U.S. while giving inner-city youth the opportunity to participate for free in the fast-moving and growing sport.  The Lexus Velodrome, which will have its grand opening Monday, is in an inflatable, climate-controlled...
Exploring the archaeological wonders of Jordan
Exploring the archaeological wonders of Jordan

In Jordan’s extraordinary rose-red “Lost City” of Petra, I have just huffed up 700 zigzagging stone-carved steps to the ancient mountaintop High Place of Sacrifice with its sacred altar and goat blood drain. And now, along a dirt trail, I rest in a rug-draped souvenir stall while an octogenarian Bedouin woman — who is traditionally...
How to make sure you travel with medication legally

Travelers often pack medications when they go abroad, but some popular prescription and over-the-counter ones Americans use for things like pain relief, better sleep, allergies and even the common cold are illegal in some countries.  The United Arab Emirates and Japan, for example, are among the most restrictive nations, but many ban or restrict...
Travel deals: Discounted lodging at 18 ski resorts and a houseboat rental special

This week's best travel bargains around the globe.  Land   --Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina in Florida is offering a free fifth night plus a resort credit. The Escape to Paradise package costs about $1,200 for five nights, including taxes; the free night is worth about $300. Guests also receive a $100 resort credit per stay...
U.S. travel industry unites to fight decline in foreign tourism

As more international travelers decide to skip America, 10 business associations including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Restaurant Association have created a travel industry group aimed at reversing the growing unpopularity of the U.S. as a vacation destination.  Historically, America had only to sit back and let foreign tourists...
More Stories