American Airlines pilots protest for better schedules

Hundreds of pilots lined up at Miami International airport holding picket signs on Wednesday.

MIAMI – With summer around the corner, airlines have struggled to keep up with the demand and now American Airlines pilots are saying it’s time to fix the problem.

Hundreds of pilots lined up at Miami International Airport holding picket signs on Wednesday. They are asking for the airline to make serious changes before the summer travel rush causes even more delays and cancelations.

According to pilots protesting, one of the main issues is the way American Airlines handles rescheduling because of weather or other disruptions.

They say the current system causes pilots to be stretched thin, forcing them to hit their maximum allowed flying time sooner than intended, which, in turn, strands flights.

This causes other crews to be diverted to cover for them, oftentimes landing them in places they never expected to be.

“Once you pack your bags to go out the door you don’t know when you’re coming back to see your family again. that’s because the schedule is so unreliable,” Capt. Dennis Tajer said.

In the end, this trickles down to the customers who experience delays, and cancelations, because pilots are having to cover flights they initially weren’t scheduled to be on.

“They’re building our schedules right up to the max and we love flying, but what that does is it pushes it up against the FAA maximums, and we ‘time out’ is the infamous word passengers will hear,” Tajer said.

In response to the picket, American Airlines said:

“American’s pilots have informational picketing planned today, which isn’t out of the ordinary and will have no impact on our operation. We are jointly committed with Allied Pilots Association to ongoing section 6 bargaining focused on reaching an agreement that will benefit our pilots and our operation.”

About the Authors:

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.