Economy

American Airlines flights could be canceled due to computer scheduling glitch

American Airlines flights could be canceled due to computer scheduling glitch

Thousands of American Airlines flights scheduled to take place over the Christmas holiday period are without pilots, following a glitch in the airline's pilot scheduling system that meant all pilots who applied for leave during the holiday period had their requests approved. The glitch allegedly showed unstaffed flights as staffed which, in turn, did not allow pilot bidding on the flights.

The union said its pilots found out about the error on Friday, and the APA has since filed a grievance.

A problem with the company's employee scheduling system has allowed many pilots to schedule vacation days during the Christmas week and now thousands of flights do not have assigned pilots. The scheduling issues predominant affect the second half of December around the holidays when a computer system inadvertently gave pilots the opportunity to withdraw from flying.

"This is certainly not routine, " said captain Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association, which represents 15,000 American pilots, The Washington Post reported. "This is very unusual".

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On their Twitter feed, American Airlines responded to several inquiries about the news by saying the airline had no plans to cancel flights. "We will work with the APA [Allied Pilots Association] to take care of our pilots and ensure we get our customers to where they need to go over the holidays", he stated.

The scheduling problem is affecting flights in some of the nation's biggest airports, including New York, Miami, Dallas-Fort Worth and Chicago, according to a memo from the airline to pilots that was seen by CNBC.

In reference to American Airlines' promised hourly pay rate increase, APA, in a statement, claims that "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".


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