Are American Airlines Pilots Staging a 'Sickout?'
American Airlines has one canceled arrival at Austin Bergstrom International Airport this evening. While that may not sound like much – at least not to anyone booked on that flight – it may be symptomatic of a broader problem for Dallas-based American Airlines.
Against the backdrop of a labor struggle, American has seen some 300 flights canceled this week, as according to reports, pilots are calling in sick.
According to CBS News,
American has seen an increase in flight cancelations since early this month, when a federal bankruptcy judge allowed the company to impose new pay and work rules on pilots. The pilots had rejected the company's last contract offer in August.
Those new work rules increase the amount of flying hours on pilots, and allow American to operate more flights through partner airlines instead of American flight crews, according to CNNMoney.
The Washington Post writes that American's pilot union has not officially been cleared for a strike; therefore, any "sickout" on behalf of American pilots are unsanctioned, wildcat strikes. Still, Allied Pilots Association spokesman Tom Hoban told the Post that pilots are extremely unhappy with the new rules.
“That being said, you’ve got 8,000 pilots that are witnessing a handful of senior executives at American Airlines that have chosen in a very deliberate manner to dismantle and destroy their profession,” Hoban said. “To say that the pilots at AA are not happy would be the understatement of a lifetime.”
The canceled American flight was flight 2444, slated to arrive from Dallas - Fort Worth at 7:15 p.m.