New excuse for AA flight delays - Dallas News |

New excuse for AA flight delays

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American Airline's dispute with its pilots' union is spilling over into a second week of flight delays and cancellations.

Last week the airline complained that too many pilots were calling in sick. This week it accused pilots of writing too many maintenance reports to hold up the flights. The pilots' union has denied any involvement.

Regardless of who is at fault, passengers have been caught in the middle. The airline is down 20 to 30 percentage point for on-time arrivals, which is way off from competing airlines.

And the longer the delays go on, the more American's passengers begin to look at the competition.

In an effort to keep their customers loyal, American is now offering passengers a full refund if they decide not to travel because their flight is more than two hours late. They will also change flight plans or book passengers on another carrier that's available.

That's appealing to some passengers, but business travelers say there's no substitute for being where you have to be on time.

"It wasn't critical for me today because this is my final destination and I have a late afternoon meeting. Had I had a connection I would have been very upset," said Pam Mayor, an American Airlines passenger.

She said no compensation or accommodations would have made a difference if it were critical. Her time is just too valuable. In fact, she may consider another airline on her return flight just in case.

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