National News

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

Posted November 30, 2017 1:49 p.m. EST

— If you have travel plans for the holidays this could make you nervous. A scheduling error gave all American Airlines pilots time off for Christmas vacation at the same time, leaving no one to fly the planes.

Although it may be good for the employees, it's bad for you.

The computer glitch gave every American Airlines pilot off for Christmas vacation this year, and now there's no one left to fly the planes.

American Airlines doesn't have a detailed explanation for exactly what caused this, but they're hoping to solve the problem by giving pilots fifty percent more than they usually get paid to pick up the empty shifts.

But the pilot's union says that plan's not going to fly, because it's in violation of their contract.

Union drama aside, CBS46 consulted a number of local travel experts, and they all unanimously agreed, American Airlines has plenty of time to straighten this one out.

American Airlines released this statement Thursday morning regarding the snafu:

"Out of the 200,000 flights American will operate in December, only a few hundred are currently unassigned to pilots. 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. It's another example of why we are thankful to have such an incredible team. In addition, we have more reserve pilots on hand in December than normal months and they provide us with the ability to fly many of the trips that are currently uncovered. We have not canceled any scheduled flights in December and will continue to work to ensure both our pilots and our customers are cared for."

So what does that mean for you the passenger? Officials tell CBS46 that there's no need to book a different flight just yet.