American Airlines pilots have been ordered to delay flights when they need to stop over in a city far from their home base until hotel accommodation has been booked and confirmed. The decision to potentially disrupt the airline’s operations comes as pilots and flight attendants face growing hotel accommodation issues that have now reached “unprecedented and unacceptable levels.”
In some cases, flight attendants have been forced to sleep next to airport baggage conveyors because the third-party company to which AA is outsourcing its limousine and hotel crew services has failed. managed to book accommodation.
In another case, a pilot allegedly arrived at the stopover hotel to find that a room had not been reserved and no hotel rooms were available in the area. Instead, the pilot was forced to sleep in the hotel lobby before making another flight the next day.
The flight attendants union and the Allied Pilots Association (APA) have filed grievances with the Dallas-based airline Fort Worth demanding that AA fulfill its contractual obligations to provide hotel rooms suitable for the crew.
As the situation dragged on, some pilots were forced to book their own accommodation out of pocket but are still waiting for AA to reimburse them. The APA wants AA to reimburse them with interest, while the Association of Professional Flight Attendants demands unspecified “relief” payments for the crew caught in the fiasco.
The APFA says flight attendants find it difficult to get to the crew’s designated hotels and sometimes have to bring an Uber to the hotel, only to find that the hotel has no rooms available for them. Flight attendants are also taken to “unsuitable”, limited-service hotels.
In an emailed statement, an American Airlines spokesperson told us, “Taking care of our crew members when they are away from home is a priority for American. We are reviewing the concerns raised by the Allied Pilots Association (APA) and APFA.
Photo credit: WKanadpon / Shutterstock.com. TOTH: View from the wing
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