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American Airlines Pilots Delaying Flights Until Hotel Rooms Have Been Booked

American Airlines Pilots Delaying Flights Until Hotel Rooms Have Been Booked

Pilots at American Airlines have been told to delay flights when they are due to layover in a city away from their home base until hotel accommodation has been booked and confirmed. The decision to potentially disrupt the airline’s operations comes as both pilots and flight attendants face mounting issues with hotel accommodation that have now reached “unprecedented and unacceptable levels“.

In some cases, flight attendants have been forced to sleep next to baggage conveyor belts in the airport because the third party company that AA outsources its crew limo and hotel services to failed to book accommodation.

In another case, a pilot allegedly arrived at the layover hotel to find that a room hadn’t been reserved and no hotel rooms were available in the local area. Instead, the pilot was forced to sleep in the hotel lobby before operating another flight the following day.

Both the flight attendant union and the Allied Pilots Association (APA) have filed grievances with the Dallas Fort Worth-based airline demanding AA fulfil its contractual obligations to provide suitable hotel rooms for crew.

As the situation has dragged on, some pilots have been forced to book their own accommodation out of their pocket but they are still waiting for AA to reimburse them. APA wants AA to repay them with interest, while the Association of Professional Flight Attendants is demanding unspecified “relief” payments for crew caught up in the fiasco.

APFA says flight attendants are struggling to get transport to designated crew hotels and sometimes have to get an Uber to the hotel, only to then find out that the hotel doesn’t have any available rooms for them. Flight attendants are also being taken to “unsuitable” and limited-service hotels.

In an emailed statement, a spokesperson for American Airlines told us: “Taking care of our crew members while they are away from home is a priority for American. We are looking into the concerns raised by APA (Allied Pilots Association) and APFA.”

Photo Credit: WKanadpon / TOTH: View from the Wing

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