American Airlines, pilots strike deal to save holiday flights

American Airlines, pilots strike deal to save holiday flights
© Getty Images

American Airlines has reached an agreement with its pilots union to save thousands of Christmastime flights without assigned pilots.

It was revealed last week that a technical glitch had allowed too many pilots to take time off during the upcoming holiday season, causing staffing shortages and raising the possibility of cancellations and disruptions.

More than 15,000 flights scheduled between Dec. 15 and Dec. 31 — some of the busiest travel days of the year surrounding Christmas — were expected to be affected by the glitch.

But the Allied Pilots Association (APA), the union representing American Airlines's pilots, worked with the air carrier over the weekend to strike a deal that will allow pilots to be paid double their normal pay rate during that time period.

The agreement will allow the air carrier to "maintain a full December schedule as planned,” the group said.

“We’ve reached an agreement that we believe will ensure that our customers’ holiday travel plans are not disrupted while also recognizing our pilots’ extra efforts to help resolve this challenge,” the APA said on its website.