Published on Friday, March 24, 2017
Pilot Union: American Airlines leaving thousands of standby passengers behind
A pilot union chief says American Airlines is leaving thousands of standby passengers standing at the gate due to its 'obsession' to get aircraft departing on time.
In a letter to members, Dan Carey, president of the Allied Pilots Association said American left 20,000 passengers stranded at the gate in February, even though many flights departed with empty seats.
He says gae agents are under pressure to close gates at all costs 10 minutes (D-10) before take-off.
"Management's preoccupation with delays has turned into an obsession," he said.
"On almost 13,000 flights, standby passengers were denied boarding even though the aircraft had open seats. Up to 16% of all AA flights experienced this failure."
"While our union brother and sister gate agents are under extraordinary pressure to close the jet bridge and aircraft doors no matter what, we must do everything possible to ensure that no passengers are left behind while seats are empty," Carey wrote.
AA carried about 14 million passengers in February, operating an average of 6,500 daily flights.
However American spokesman Matt Miller said the number is misleading and doesn't tell the whole story.
"It is imprecise and not representative of reality because it reflects passengers on the electronic standby list, many of whom are not physically present at the gate area during the boarding process," Miller said.
"This and many other factors cause any reporting on unaccommodated passengers to be significantly inflated."