Just when the flying public thinks it can’t get any worse, it does. American Airlines has recently seen an uptick – a large one – in flight delays and cancellations. This is reportedly attributable to an unusually high number of maintenance requests and sick pilots. The pilots’ union says there is nothing organized going on. And we are starting back into the flu and cold season. But really, is that it?
Probably not. American Airlines is in the middle of a quagmire following its bankruptcy filing. Its relations with the pilots’ union, on the public face of things, have not been positive. Who pays the price? The flying public does. Maybe not in your airfare (yet) but in other ways – in the costs you incur when you don’t make a meeting or you get stuck somewhere you don’t intend to be or you miss another night with your family.
Someone I know told me the story of his recent experience with American Airlines. He spilled some water in his seat when he put his plastic bottle down to place his carry on in the overhead bin. He asked the flight attendant for some plastic or something to put in the seat to avoid wet pants. The flight attendant said that she would do what she could, but added that if the Captain were notified of the water spill it would result in a minimum three-hour delay while a new seat was brought out and installed. True story. Such are the circumstances right now at American Airlines. Are these the types of “maintenance requests” that are causing the increased delays and cancellations? It is no wonder that this company is in bankruptcy.