American Airlines Pilots Causing Flight Disruptions

I received a memo from American Airlines regarding the recent operational changes due to pilots delaying flights for so-called safety reasons.  The memo states, “The recent delays are due to the increase in maintenance write-ups by our pilots, many right at the time of departure. Our maintenance teams are responding appropriately to such reports, which may cause interruptions in our schedules. I know you will agree that nothing is more important than running a safe and reliable operation. Ensuring the safety of our customers is always our highest priority”.  So what the pilots are doing is claiming there are safety issues that need to be addressed and are slowing down or ceasing the flying of those aircraft.  Never mind the delays, I have a serious problem with pilots manufacturing stories about maintenance issues on their aircraft.  It’s the story of the boy who cried wolf.  Tens of thousands of people fly every day and I would hate to think any lives are put in danger due to false claims of maintenance issues.  What if there turns out to be a real issue that is missed  because the pilots are playing make-believe?  While I understand the pilots’ grievances, and they should earn large salaries since our lives are in their hands every time we step aboard, this type of labor action is unacceptable and should be illegal.  If found to be making up a maintenance issue simply to delay a flight, that pilot should be brought up on charges.  The memo concludes by stating “As always, our goal is to get you to your destination safely and on-time.  Because you are a valued elite member, should you find that on your day of departure these issues will cause you to arrive more than one hour late at your final destination, all you have to do is ask and we’ll do our best to arrange an alternative. We will seek out the best available recommendation, whether that is on American or on another carrier —or if you prefer, we will let you cancel your reservation and receive a refund.  Your needs are our primary focus”.  While I do appreciate the attempt at good customer service, I question how the airline plans to fix this problem as it continues to go through bankruptcy proceedings.  To all my Canadian friends, labor issues are the very reason I stopped flying Air Canada.  Labor negotiations not-withstanding, the primary issue for both sides during negotiations, should be the safety of the passengers.

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