American Airlines Grounds Flights as Pilots Call in Sick

It's cold season, but this seems a little suspicious: CNN is reporting that American Airlines has canceled 250 flights this week and will cut capacity by up to 2 percent through the end of October, as pilots unhappy with their labor contract have started to call in sick.

Airline spokesman Bruce Hicks said the airline is not aware of any organized job action by the pilots. But he said there has been an increase in the number of pilots calling in sick. There has also been an increase in flight crews filing maintenance reports on their aircraft, which is causing flights to be canceled. The pilot's union had a new labor agreement imposed on it by the bankruptcy court after rank-and-file pilots last month rejected the tentative deal that their union, the Allied Pilots Association, had reached with management. Members of other unions at American, representing flight attendants and ground workers, have ratified their own concession deals with the airline.

The airline normally flies about 1,700 flights a day. The increase in flight cancellations started on Sunday. Hicks did not have details on the number of flights canceled each day, but he did say that the 250 canceled flights were canceled in advance by the airline in order to give customers time to change their travel plans.


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