Union: Thousands of Christmastime flights without assigned pilots after computer glitch

Union: Thousands of Christmastime flights without assigned pilots after computer glitch
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American Airlines is working to remedy a scheduling glitch that allowed too many pilots to take time off the during the upcoming holiday season, causing staffing shortages on thousands of flights.

The Allied Pilots Association, the union representing American Airlines's pilots, said Tuesday that a glitch in the system that allows pilots to bid for time off left thousands of flights without pilots assigned to them.

The union estimated that more than 15,000 flights scheduled between Dec. 15-31 — some of the busiest travel days of the year surrounding Christmas — were affected by the glitch, according to Reuters. Pilots were notified of the error on Friday.

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“We are working through this to make sure we take care of our pilots and get our customers where they need to go over the holiday,” Matt Miller, a spokesman for American Airlines, said Wednesday.

The Dallas Morning News reported Wednesday that the airline is offering pilots 150 percent of their normal hourly pay to take on holiday shifts following the glitch.

The Allied Pilots Association, however, said that "[b]ecause management unilaterally created their solution in violation of the contract" the payments could not be guaranteed.