The Dallas Fort Worth-based airline had 12,000 trips in July without any pilots rostered to actually fly them due to a programming issue in the mechanism used to assign flights to pilots.
The bug appears to have happened on Friday when the trip exchange with open time system, the roster software, mistakenly permitted pilots to drop blocks of flights known as “sequences” that had previously been allotted to them back into the system.
A large number of pilots allegedly noticed the mistake and returned 2,000 sequences to the trading system. 37,000 flying hours or about 12,000 flights were included in the dropped sequences.
The union that represents AA’s pilots blamed “mismanagement” within the company as American Airlines rushed to fix the problem. The Allied Pilots Association said it planned to use the debacle as leverage in contract talks to obtain incentives for pilots to work during the holidays.
“A technical issue occurred with our pilot trip trading system. This technical problem allowed some trip trading transactions to be performed even though they weren’t supposed to”A representative for American confirmed the error in a statement
The statement stated, “We have restored the vast majority of the affected trips and do not anticipate any operational impact because of this issue”
As we approach the Fourth of July weekend, all eyes are on the major U.S. airlines due to concerns that even the smallest inconvenience could result in a catastrophic operational breakdown.
American Airlines recently extended a two-year offer to pilots that included a pay increase of up to 16.9%. Pilots at the airline have not yet approved the agreement, and negotiations with the Allied Pilots Association are still ongoing.
Stay tuned and updated with Aviationa2z.