Future Tense

American Airlines Computer Glitch Leaves Thousands of Flights Understaffed During the Holidays

An American Airlines scheduling glitch is wreaking havoc on holiday travel plans. 

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A glitch in American Airlines’ scheduling system let too many pilots take a vacation in December, which leaves thousands of flights understaffed during the busy holiday season. 

The company is offering pilots one-and-a-half times their usual hourly wage to come to work in order to meet the high travel demands. According to the Allied Pilots Association, a union which reported the news to its members, over 15,000 flights from Dec. 17 to Dec. 31 now do not have enough personnel.


CNBC reports that flights from New York, Miami, Dallas-Fort Worth, Boston, Chicago, and other locations are missing captains and first officers.

Matt Miller, a spokesman for the airline, told Bloomberg, “We are working through this to make sure we take care of our pilots and get our customers to where they need to go over the holidays.” He claimed the company does not expect any cancellations, but he would not disclose the number of the flights affected.

The Allied Pilots Association is offering to help American Airlines come up with incentives that would convince pilots to give up their preapproved vacation days to deal with the crisis. The union has also filed a grievance alleging that the higher wage deal the company is currently offering would violate a labor pact.