American Airlines Glitch Gives Too Many Pilots Christmas Week Off

Image via AP.

American Airlines has found itself in a bit of a pickle after a computer glitch gave time off to too many pilots squarely in the middle of holiday travel season.

According to Reuters, the glitch hit the system that bids for pilots’ time off based on seniority, affecting more than 15,000 flights between December 17 and 31st. Do those happen to be just the dates you planned to fly back to Minneapolis/Scarsdale/Denver for the holidays? Probably!


“On Friday, management disclosed a failure within the pilot schedule bidding system,” the Allied Pilots Association said in a statement. “As a result, thousands of flights currently do not have pilots assigned to fly them during the upcoming critical holiday period.”

In a desperate bid to patch up the problem, American is offering pilots 150 percent of their normal hourly wage, which they should certainly already be doing for holiday flights. But the APA filed a grievance saying that proposal violates its labor contract, and prefers instead to reach a solution that will motivate pilots to give up vacation they’ve already been granted, Dennis Tajer, an APA spokesman, told the Chicago Tribune.

Flights currently without a captain, first officer or both are originating from Dallas-Fort Worth International—the country’s largest hub—as well as airports in Boston, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City and Charlotte, North Carolina. Wouldn’t you rather just stay home anyway?

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