American Airlines schedule glitch! 15`000 possible flights affected during the holidays!

Thousands of American Airlines flights over the holiday season are in danger of cancellation because an error in the company’s internal scheduling system gave too many pilots time off.

American is scrambling to fill the scheduling hole by offering pilots 1,5 times their normal salary. However, union representatives say, that the premium pay was not covered by its contract and that the airline couldn’t guarantee payment.

It is not yet clear whether any flights would be canceled or delayed. Gregg Overman, spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association said about 15,000 flights from Dec. 17 to the end of the year are affected.

American said in a statement that it expected to avoid cancellations.

“We will work with the A.P.A. to take care of our pilots and ensure we get our customers to where they need to go over the holidays,” the company said.

It was not immediately known how the scheduling error happened. The airline assigns flights to pilots, but pilots can use the internal system to drop or trade flight assignments. Normally, the pilots wouldn’t be able to drop flights unless someone can cover them, but the error allowed any drop requests to go through, and “an extraordinarily large number of pilots” planned around it, Mr. Overman said.

Source: NYTimes