I don't get it. Sorry for being stupid when it comes to this but, how do the pilots take advantage of the system?
There are many limitations in the contract that create opportunities for abuse by both sides --management as well as pilots. Far too many to list here and even worse trying to explain to someone who doesn't "live the contract" to fully understand (heck, 18 years of living the contract and I don't understand 1/2 the ways I've been told). A very simple example is calling in sick. FAR
's place the sole responsibility of determining if a pilot is unfit to fly on that pilot. The contract says that if you determine yourself to be unfit to fly, you should call in sick. If you do, you are removed from your trip and paid the trip's time (read: pay) from your "sick bank" (one builds bank time on a per month basis and not using it). Management has to call out reserve pilot to fly the trip. When enough folks do this at the same time or over the course of a month and the airline starts to run low on reserve pilots.
Contract and FAR
's place daily, weekly, monthly and annual limits on how much a pilot can fly which also limits pilot availability.
and many others about to get furlough.
what is your source?
Up to 450 more starting in January. Source is American Airlines Flight Department... i.e. the Chief Pilot.
This "Incentive pay" rewards those who want to fly more hours...
is paying "Premium Pay" for pilots who make themselves available to fly extra trips. Contract limitations are being waived in order to make more pilots available. However; that alone may not be enough to free up pilots. i.e. My current schedule makes me unavailable for any Premium Pay flying due to FAR
limitations even if I wanted to fly the extra time.