Thousands Of Christmas Flights Are Up In The Air After A Computer Glitch Gave Pilots The Week Off

American Airlines plane on the runway (Photo: Shutterstock/ Art Konovalov)American Airlines plane on the runway (Photo: Shutterstock/ Art Konovalov)

A computer glitch gave every pilot for American Airlines Christmas week off, leaving thousands of holiday flights potentially grounded, Reuters reports.

An error in American’s scheduling system left 15,000 flights without a pilot during one of the busiest traveling times of the year. The airline has offered time and half pay to any pilot willing to work from Dec. 17-31.

“We are working through this to make sure we take care of our pilots and get our customers where they need to go over the holiday,” American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller told Reuters.

American Airlines emailed pilots Friday about the error, according to the pilots’ union Allied Pilots Association (APA).

“I’m watching a ‘Grinch that stole Christmas’ thing happening. And we don’t want to see that happening for our passengers,” APA Dennis Tajer told Reuters.

The APA filed a grievance with the airline because “neither APA nor the contract can guarantee the promised payment of the premium being offered.”

The European airline Ryanair was forced to cancel 2,000 flights in September due to a scheduling error, costing the company around $30 million, The Economist reports.

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