Planning to fly with American Airlines this holiday season? We have some potentially bad news.
According to Bloomberg, more than 15,000 American Airlines flights scheduled from Dec. 17 to Dec. 31 do not have a pilot, first officer or both due to a computer glitch that allowed too many staffers to take off for the holidays. The problem reportedly affects flights originating from Dallas Fort Worth International and other airports in Boston, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, and Charlotte, N.C.
In a statement, American Airlines told PCMag it is "working diligently to address the issue" and it expects to "avoid cancellations this holiday season."
"We have reserve pilots to help cover flying in December, and we are paying pilots who pick up certain open trips 150 percent of their hourly rate -- as much as we are allowed to pay them per the contract," the airline said. American said it will work with the Allied Pilots Association (APA) union to "take care" of its pilots and "ensure we get our customers to where they need to go over the holidays."
The computer glitch caused the airline's scheduling system to show sufficient coverage for certain flights when that was not actually the case, Bloomberg reports. The airline has reportedly fixed the problem and believes its system is now working normally.
The APA, meanwhile, isn't happy with American's proposed solution for crewing affected flights. The union has filed a grievance, saying the solution violates the company's contract.
"Because management unilaterally created their solution in violation of the contract, neither APA nor the contract can guarantee the promised payment of the premium being offered," the union said in a statement.