On Wednesday afternoon, it was reported that due to a glitch in the system, too many American Airlines pilots were able to schedule Christmas vacation. Which is great news for those pilots! Less great news for those planes that need someone to fly them. Luckily for those booked onto holiday flights, American Airlines is working diligently to make sure nothing gets cancelled.
The scheduling nightmare occurred when a bug in the system allowed for unregulated amounts of time off when pilots were setting their schedules for December. Normally the system tracks time-off to make sure flights are covered, but as one pilot told CNBC, "the computer said, 'Hey ya'll. You want the days off? You got it.'"
All things considered, it could have been much, much worse. At least they caught the issue now and not on say...December 23. The airline is offering extra compensation for pilots to take the unscheduled holiday shifts and have yet to announce plans to cancel flights. American Airlines issued a statement to Fast Company, stating:
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.
Holiday travel season is often hectic and stressful for all involved, but thoughts go out to all the American Airlines employees who certainly had one heck of an afternoon.
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h/t Fast Company