It might seem like a good deed, but it’s actually leaving customers pretty panicked. Based on a glitch with their scheduling system, American Airlines let pilots have Christmas off — sort of. Due to the error, way too many pilots managed to request the day off without backup. To put it in numbers, Allied Pilots Association is estimating that around 15,000 flights in about a dozen airports that were scheduled between December 17th and the end of the year may be affected. That’s important to know if you’ve got plane tickets this season.
Of course, the airline is trying hard to fix the mistake, reportedly offering pilots 150% of their standard hourly rate to cover the flights.
The news hit pretty quickly, as many of us will be depending on American Airlines to make it home for the holidays. “We are working diligently to address the issue and expect to avoid cancellations this holiday season,” the company said on Twitter. “We will work with the APA to take care of our pilots and ensure we get our customers to where they need to go over the holidays.”
So, how did this happen? Typically, pilots reportedly allowed to drop assigned flights through the system if another crew member was on hand to take care of the shift. This time, it allowed flights to be dropped without any sort of backup.
That means that pilots called off without knowing that there was nobody else available to cover for them.
According to the airline, this is an isolated incident — and since they realized what happened well before the flights, they seem confident that everything will go as planned this season. Still, if you think that you might be on one of the flights affected, you may want to keep following the story to confirm that your holiday will be merry and bright.