American Crews Get Christmas Double Time
American Airlines will pay double time to pilots who take flights that, due to a computer glitch, may have been left without cockpit crews over Christmas. The glitch allowed most American pilots to take time off over the holidays, which obviously wasn’t workable. American and the Allied Pilots Association worked out the deal, which will only apply to the flights that were left without crews because of the glitch, and the bonus payment is retroactive to Nov. 28. The airline put a brave face on the costly mistake.
“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 news release. “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. In short, if Santa is flying, so is American.” When it discovered the mistake, American tried to fill the gaps with relief pilots and by luring back pilots who took advantage of the glitch with a 50 percent bonus to take some of the flights. The union said that violated its contract and the new agreement was reached at double the normal money. Up to 15,000 flights could have been affected by the error, according to the union.