American Airlines Scheduled Too Many Pilot Vacations to Cover Its Holiday Week Flights
It’s not even December, and American Airlines has a problem with its holiday week flights. Due to a failure with the company’s pilot scheduling system, “thousands of flights currently do not have pilots assigned to fly them during the upcoming critical holiday period,” says a statement released by the Allied Pilots Association (APA). The airline has acknowledged customer complaints about the issue on Twitter, saying it expects to avoid cancelations.
However, getting pilots into the cockpit may not be as simple as asking them to change their holiday plans. The airline has offered its crews 150% of their regular wage to staff the flights, reports Bloomberg. But the APA has called that fix a violation of the union contract, because the solution was created without input from the pilots.
“This is certainly not routine,” APA spokesman Dennis Tajer told Bloomberg. “This is a crisis right now, and in that crisis, they’ve gone solo.”
Fortune contacted American Airlines for comment, but has not heard back as of publication.
The scheduling snafu caps off what has been a tumultuous year for American Airlines. In March, a blind woman was kicked off one of its flights over an argument about her service dog. A passenger-shot video showing a tense confrontation between customers and crew over a stroller went viral a month later. And in October, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People warned black passengers they could face “unsafe” conditions on the airline, citing several incidents of discrimination.