NAPA, Calif. – American began implementing cost cuts for its pilots this month after a U.S. bankruptcy judge ruled the airline could abandon its collective bargaining agreement with the pilots union. The airline, a unit of AMR Corp, said on Wednesday it canceled about 300 flights for this week out of nearly 24,000 departures planned across its network, including the American Eagle regional division. American cited factors including “an increase in maintenance reports filed by pilots, as well as levels of sick leave usage that have been running higher than historical norms.” From Monday through Wednesday of this week, American has canceled more than 250 flights, according to FlightAware.com. Flight Aware said cancellations at American have been well above the rest of the industry for the past two weeks. American said it was reducing its flight schedule through October.
“There is no simple problem that Congress cannot fail to fix,” said Kate Hanni, “but this problem must be fixed regardless of the lobbying dollars pouring in to Congress coffers from the airlines,” continued Hanni. “American Airlines is simply referring their customers affected by these flight cancellations to their contract of carriage.. why? Because their contract of carriage states all they get is a refund,” “therefore those customers are damaged in that they will have to re-purchase tickets at same day prices, or cancel their trips and often lose non-refundable deposits.” “It’s an outrage that customers cannot go to the airlines interline or code share partners and get a flight at no extra expense.” “But we know AA won’t do that, so it’s time that Congress or the DOT step in and solve this for the flying public; reinstate immediately the reciprocity rule and stop the madness.”
“Given the number of flight cancellations, coupled with AA’s bankruptcy proceedings and other critical issues, FlyersRights.org is recommends you book your flights on other air carriers if AA refuses to put you on an interline carrier at no extra charge. However, if you have stacked up the frequent flyer miles we recommend you immediately book your trip on AA or a code-share partner just to avoid the risk of losing those miles in the event AA shuts their doors.”