American says most of the 15,000 Holiday Flights will now have Pilots

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Yesterday, an American Airlines union announced there was a scheduling glitch that had left over 15,000 holiday flights in December (out of 200,000 total flights) without assigned pilots.

While many American Airlines pilots were excited they had the holidays off for the first time, the computer glitch led to a mad scramble to cover many of these open slots. American offered 150% hourly pay for pilots to step up to the plate, and it appears that in the last 24 hours that has worked. American released an update at noon today stating that there is only a few hundred flights left to be covered.



Bottom Line

It appears the fear of widespread cancellations has been averted. Luckily, this was solved well ahead of the first understaffed flights on December 17th or otherwise this could have been really ugly. I do feel bad for all those pilots who thought they would be spending time with their families during the holidays, only to have to pick up extra shifts. If you’re flying later this month, make sure to give your flight crews a little extra love.


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