Poor American Airlines. Its public relations team spent much of last week chasing its tail over an issue that never should have become public. Yes, the technical error might cost American an extra $10 million to fix. But for a corporation this big, that's not much money.
A prominent airline analyst says American Airlines will pay about $10 million to fix the pilot-scheduling mix-up that left thousands of unstaffed flights around Christmas.
J.P. Morgan Chase analyst Jamie Baker issued the estimate Monday. American didn’t comment immediately.
American reached a deal late last week to pay pilots double wages for working some flights that were short-staffed after an error in the crew-scheduling system let pilots drop assignments even if no backups were available.
Baker says the settlement will deflect bad publicity and passenger concern over possible flight cancelations. He’s even slightly raising his estimate of American’s fourth-quarter earnings per share based on strong ticket demand.
Other analysts are downplaying impact of the mistake too. Helen Becker of Cowen is criticizing the pilots’ union for publicizing the scheduling error.
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Photo Credit: American's pilot scheduling error could cost the airline $10 million, but all flights should depart as scheduled. Pictured is one of the airline's Boeing 737-800s. American Airlines
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