Economy

American Airlines glitch gives pilots holiday at Christmas

American Airlines glitch gives pilots holiday at Christmas

Faced with the prospect of sweeping flight cancellations during the busy holiday season, American Airlines said Friday that it had resolved a scheduling problem that had left thousands of flights without assigned pilots.

American said that the two sides "have put that worry to rest to make sure our flights will operate as scheduled".

An error in the system that bids for pilots' time off based on seniority was responsible for approving too much time off to too many pilots in December, American disclosed to employees last week, launching the carrier into a frenzied effort to cover thousands of then-pilotless scheduled flights.

The APA, in its own statement, confirmed that American "will be able to maintain a full December schedule as planned for its passengers".

The APA has filed a grievance with the company as they say "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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By Thursday, however, American Airlines had stated that the issue - which it called a clerical error, - was affecting "only a few hundred" flights.

The Christmas season is already a chaotic time for many people, but a computer glitch could make things even more hard for American Airlines and anyone scheduled to fly with them next month.

No flights were canceled due to the scheduling mix-up. American Airlines President Robert Isom was in attendance, according to an APA spokesman. The union said it was still "seriously concerned" about schedule disruptions.

Union spokesman Dennis Tajer said details will be released after pilots see the deal.


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