A spokesman said Thursday that pilots were picking up extra flights and the airline had more on-call pilots in December than during other months. He said American has not canceled any December flights.
The airline released the following statement:
“Out of the 200,000 flights American will operate in December, only a few hundred are currently unassigned to pilots. That number of open flights continues to decrease thanks to our pilots who are stepping up to the plate and picking up trips to ensure customers are taken care of. It’s another example of why we are thankful to have such an incredible team. In addition, we have more reserve pilots on hand in December than normal months and they provide us with the ability to fly many of the trips that are currently uncovered. We have not canceled any scheduled flights in December and will continue to work to ensure both our pilots and our customers are cared for.”
The pilots’ union had said that more than 15,000 flights lacked a captain, co-pilot or both when a problem was discovered in the company’s scheduling system. Pilots were allowed to take vacation days in the last two weeks of December even if there wasn’t another pilot available to operate the flight.
Miller declined to say how much the scheduling mix-up will cost Fort Worth, Texas-based American Airlines Group Inc. American is the world’s largest airline.
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