American Airlines updates worried travelers after glitch left thousands of holiday flights without pilots – Dallas Morning News (Paywall)
When there’s a hard paywall like on this site, I don’t usually post the link, but this seemed like my best chance to comment on the American pilot issue. In short, it’s a non-issue for travelers.
I can’t quite figure out why the union was trying to scare people into thinking their flights might be canceled, because that’s highly unlikely. It was a tech issue, and now American is paying a pretty penny to make sure it doesn’t impact travelers by paying pilots time and a half to pick up trips. You may have seen American say a couple days ago that it’s down to having only a few hundred flights that need pilots. That was bending the truth, at best, since it included expected coverage from reserve pilots who are on call. (In other words, the flights hadn’t all officially been assigned pilots yet, but there will be pilots available.) The sentiment was right, however, and yesterday there was a further update where American fluffed the union and now everyone is holding hands singing kumbaya. Again, nothing to worry about here.
In case you don’t have a DMN login, here’s my quote from the article.
“Everyone’s already freaking out,” said Brett Snyder, author of the airline industry blog Cranky Flier and president of air travel assistance company Cranky Concierge. “There are a lot of things to worry about and stress you out over the holidays. I wouldn’t let this be one of them.”
Snyder said American will be motivated to prevent the scheduling issues from disrupting any flights, especially after stating publicly Wednesday that it expects to avoid cancellations.
“This kind of thing can happen. They caught it and they’ve stopped it. Now they just have to fill in the blanks” in the schedule, he said. “We’ll be watching closely, but at this point I’m just not that concerned.”
(And yes, eagle-eyed readers, American did basically steal my quote about holiday stresses for that press release yesterday.)
Even procrastinators can find deals on holiday travel – Associated Press
My sentiments in this article are actually the opposite of the headline. It’s hard to find deals on holiday travel now because the airlines have done a much better job in recent years of paring back capacity during off peak times.