American Airlines glitch let all pilots take off for the holidays

Report: American Airlines glitch causes pilot shortage on thousands of flights over holidays

That's because according to the Allied Pilots Association union, a glitch in the system American Airlines uses to schedule time off for pilots was erroneously green-lighting every single PTO request.

"The system went from responsibly scheduling everybody to becoming Santa Claus to everyone", said American captain Dennis Tajer, according to CNBC.

American spokesman Matt Miller declined to quantify the potential number of flights involved, saying the airline expects to correct the problem and avoid cancellations.

According to the Allied Pilots Association, a union which reported the news to its members, over 15,000 flights from December 17 to December 31 now do not have enough personnel.

The system error was disclosed to pilots on Friday, the union said.

Report: American Airlines glitch causes pilot shortage on thousands of flights over holidays
Computer glitch leaves American Airlines without any pilots for Christmas

American Airlines is the largest USA carrier.

The company is offering pilots one-and-a-half times their usual hourly wage to come to work in order to meet the high travel demands. The union has also filed a grievance alleging that the higher wage deal the company is now offering would violate a labor pact.

The Allied Pilots Association, however, said in a public statement that American Airlines' solution for crewing the flights is in violation of its contract. "As a result, thousands of flights now do not have pilots assigned to fly them during the upcoming critical holiday period", the union stated.

As of early on Wednesday, the union said management had still not reached out to discuss how best to resolve the shortage.

"This is certainly not routine".

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