Thousands of American Airlines flights scheduled to take place in December have been rostered without pilots due to a glitch in the carrier’s holiday request system.
Some 15,000 flights from major hubs, including Miami, Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago O’Hare and New York’s La Guardia airport, between December 17 and 31 are now estimated to be without pilots.
The system glitch allowed more American Airlines pilots to book holiday than should have been permitted. It is unclear which specific routes have been affected by the problem.
“We have reserve pilots to help cover flying in December, and we are paying pilots who pick up certain open trips 150 per cent of their hourly rate – as much as we are allowed to pay them per the contract,” said airline spokesperson Matt Miller.
“We will work with the APA (Allied Pilots Association) to take care of our pilots and ensure we get our customers to where they need to go over the holidays.”
Earlier this year, Ryanair had to cancel 20,000 flights over the current winter season due to rostering problems linked to its pilots taking annual leave.