News Worms
News Worms

Computer glitch gives every American Airlines pilot time off during Christmas vacation

Computer glitch gives every American Airlines pilot time off during Christmas vacation

American Airlines has offered to pay pilots time and a half if they work on certain flights during the season.

Thousands of American Airlines flights "during the upcoming critical holiday period" don't now have pilots assigned to them because of a scheduling glitch, according to the airline's pilot union.

A spokesman for the airline said Wednesday that American expects to avoid canceling flights by paying overtime and using reserve pilots. The airline now offers daily flights from the Rochester International Airport to Chicago O'Hare International Airport.

American Airlines had to ground flights for more than two hours because of a malfunctioning computer in April 2013.

The Allied Pilots Association estimated the number of affected flights, from December 17 to December 31, based on information provided by the carrier, said Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the union. The airline has declined to quantify the potential number of flights involved.

"The airline is a 24/7 op", said pilot's union spokesman, Dennis Tajer.

"That number of open flights continues to decrease thanks to our pilots who are stepping up to the plate and picking up trips to ensure customers are taken care of", Aran Coello said in a statement.

Flights that are scheduled without a captain, first officer or both originate from Dallas-Fort Worth International, American's largest hub, and airports in Boston, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City and Charlotte, North Carolina, according to a company memo to the union, which was seen by Bloomberg News. "The system went from responsibly scheduling everybody to becoming Santa Claus to everyone".

This means that a much larger than normal number of the airliner's pilots are scheduled for vacation between December 17 and December 31. Still, industry experts say the increased complexity of airline computer systems is to blame for a growing number of glitches that have recently grounded airplanes and posted ultra-cheap airfares.

A scheduling glitch could leave American Airlines passengers stranded for one of the busiest travel times of the year. You want the days off?

In my opinion, the APA should not be The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (or who stole the pilots) and allow American Airlines to "pony up" the promised cash for the pilots.

Management disclosed the error on Friday, the union said in a statement on its website.


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