American Airlines advertises for a 'director of crew scheduling' after a 'computer glitch' gave ALL its pilots Christmas week off - but it has now found cover for all but a 'few hundred flights'
- All pilots at American Airlines were accidentally given vacation for Christmas
- Just days after glitch was uncovered, American Airlines posted job listing on its site for director of crews scheduling
- Representative for the carrier tells DailyMail.com it was an old job posting that was reposted after Thanksgiving and is unrelated to the glitch ??
- The position is based out of American Airlines' HQ in Fort Worth, Texas, and the head of scheduling will be placed in charge of 400 staffers?
- Pilots' union says about 15,000 American flights were scheduled without a captain, a co-pilot or both due to the error?
- However, American Airlines said Thursday there are now only a few hundred flights out of the 200,000 it will operate in Dec that are unassigned to pilots?
Americans Airlines is looking to hire a director of crew scheduling, after an scheduling glitch sent the carrier scrambling to find pilots to operate thousands of flights over the busy holiday period.
A spokesman for the airline tells DailyMail.com that out the 200,000 flights American will operate in December, only a few hundred are now currently unassigned to pilots after the debacle.?
'That number of open flights continues to decrease thanks to our pilots who are stepping up to the plate and picking up trips to ensure customers are taken care of,' according to an emailed statement.?
'We have not canceled any scheduled flights in December and will continue to work to ensure both our pilots and our customers are cared for.'
The pilots' union said earlier that about 15,000 flights were scheduled without a captain, a co-pilot or both.
Scheduler wanted:?Americans Airlines is looking to hire a new director of crew scheduling, after an scheduling glitch sent the carrier scrambling to find pilots to operate thousands of flights over the busy holiday period
On Thursday, ABC7 reporter Sam Sweeney tweeted that the carrier posted an ad on its website seeking to hire a crew scheduling director.
The job posting appeared on Tuesday. The glitch was uncovered last week and made national headlines on Wednesday.
According to the listing, the senior position is based out of American Airlines' headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas.?
The head of scheduling for the carrier will be placed in charge of 400 staffers and will be expected, among other duties, to 'help drive culture change in transforming the Crew Scheduling group into a Customer Contact center for our crew members.
A representative for the airline said in an email to DailyMail.com on Thursday that it is an old job listing from earlier this month that was reposted after Thanksgiving.
'It is entirely unrelated to the pilot scheduling issue,' the spokesperson stated.???
American, the world's biggest airline, has about 15,000 active pilots and expects to operate more than 200,000 flights in December.
The carrier's official Twitter account has been in full damage control mode over the past 24 hours, with American's social media team going out of its way to reassure passengers that the airline is 'working hard' to avoid cancellations.
'Holiday travel is an important time and we're making sure to get our customers where they need to be. We expect to avoid cancellations.' one tweet read.?
Another tweet sent out on Thursday afternoon read: 'We'll take care of our pilots and ensure we get everyone where they need to be over the holidays.'?
In a response to a Twitter user's query about the fallout from the scheduling error, sent out shortly after noon, the carrier said: 'We're already seeing resolutions.'?
Pilots bid each month for flying assignments based on seniority. The scheduling glitch let pilots drop scheduled flights - to take a vacation over Christmas, for example - even when there were no other pilots available for that flight.?
Normally such a request would be denied, especially during busy travel periods.
The pilots' union estimated that when the problem was discovered late last week, about 19,000 cockpit seats were left empty. The glitch affected more than 15,000 flights between December 17 and December 31 from nearly a dozen airports including hubs in Dallas, Chicago and Miami.
'This is a potential crisis that we see well in advance,' said Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the union. 'This is very unusual.'
The carrier is scrambling to find pilots to operate thousands of flights over the busy Christmas holiday period
The union has lodged a protest against the company's plan to fix the mistake by tapping reserve pilots and offering overtime pay for some of the unstaffed flights.?
The union says American is violating its labor contract by imposing a solution without union input, and is improperly restricting premium pay.
Some nervous customers tweeted at the airline, looking for reassurance that their Christmas-travel plans would not be upset.
American officials 'expect to avoid cancellations this holiday season,' said airline spokesman Matt Miller. 'We will work with the (union) to take care of our pilots and ensure we get our customers to where they need to go over the holidays.'?
Miller said they are paying pilots who pick up certain trips 150 per cent of their hourly rate.?
Despite American's can-do response, scheduling mix-ups can create serious problems in the airline business. In September, Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair said it would cancel more 20,000 flights between November and March after admitting it 'messed up' the transition to a new system for scheduling employee vacations.
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