Online & On Air

Why you might not want to fly American right now

If you have plans to fly American Airlines this fall you may want to reconsider. As American works through its bankruptcy proceedings, labor strife between the pilots and management is starting to heat up --and passengers are beginning to pay the price. The airline expects to cancel up to 2 percent of its total flights through the end of October because of the disputes. Pilots and crew are calling in sick or delaying fights by getting into a fight with one another, and last-minute maintenance calls are mucking up schedules. On Wednesday, an American flight was delayed up to four hours out of John F. Kennedy International Airport after two flight attendants got into a verbal argument. The plane eventually returned to the gate and a new flight crew took over. Bruce Hicks, a spokesman for the airline's parent company AMR Corp. says sick leave for pilots is 20 percent higher than a year ago and says pilots call in maintenance requests, often right before takeoff. ((CONTINUED...))