American Airlines pilots, citing fatigue, plan protests

American Airlines pilots, citing fatigue, plan protests
© Greg Nash

American Airlines pilots are planning to protest work conditions, citing fatigue they say has been caused by their company's mismanagement.

The Allied Pilots Association (APA) says there will be protests by pilots for the company at airports in Miami, Dallas and elsewhere, with the first scheduled for Miami on Oct. 19. 

As pilots, our job is to transport our passengers as safely and reliably as possible, while American Airlines management’s job is to support those efforts. Unfortunately, management has repeatedly demonstrated its inability to run a reliable airline, and has failed to give us the tools we need to do our jobs,” the APA, which represents all 13,400 American Airlines pilots, said in a statement sent out to pilots on Tuesday.

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The group says pilots have been forced to work on their days off, not given a hotel while working or sent to hotels without securing valid reservations and have not received enough time to eat during their shifts.

While APA pilots have suffered through record numbers of reassignments and have filed a record number of fatigue reports, management continues to willfully violate our contract, creating uncertainty for pilots and passengers,” the organization wrote.

The APA says the company’s failure to connect pilots to airplanes has led to delayed or canceled flights as “management often resorts to making up its own rules” during delays.

The statement by the APA follows a memo sent to pilots on Friday by American Airlines Vice President of Flights Chip Long saying that weather conditions in June could have interfered with some pilots’ schedules.

Although there were challenges, Long said the “pilot training and staffing has been fortified” and the company will “continue to make important progress internally, managing and adapting in a way that provides tangible improvements for each of you.”