American Airlines: 15,000 flights without pilots during the holidays

- A computer glitch gave American Airlines pilots the holidays off, according to the Pilots Union. That means if you're planning to fly out of an airport the week before or the week after Christmas, you may have a problem. Charlotte Douglas International airport is a hub for American airlines. 

One passenger described what she thought will happen after the union said a computer scheduling glitch has caused thousands of flights not to be assigned pilots during a two-week span at the end of December. 

“I think it's going to be a complete disaster, there's so many people, I could have been going at Christmas, instead of thanksgiving and I have gone at Christmas before so that would have not been good,” Judy Wiggins, American Airlines Passenger. 

15,000 American Airlines flights scheduled to take off between December 17th and December 31st do not have full crews, according to the communications director for the Allied Pilot’s Association. 

“I think it's great from an employee’s standpoint but I'm a little concerned for the passengers I would hope that I had a pilot,” Leah Serrano, another American Airlines Passenger. 

American Airlines says they are working on the issue and expect to avoid cancellations by using reserve pilots and paying contract pilots extra to pick up open flights. 
 
“It's going to definitely be a zoo around here and I wouldn't even make arrangements to go anywhere around Christmas knowing that.”

American Airlines released this statement earlier today, saying: 
We are working diligently to address the issue and expect to avoid cancellations this holiday season. We have reserve pilots to help cover flying in December, and we are paying pilots who pick up certain open trips 150 percent of their hourly rate – as much as we are allowed to pay them per the contract. 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.

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