Skip to main content

Hopefully you're not flying American Airlines this Christmas

An IT gaffe has given too many pilots time off for the holidays.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Anyone booked on an American Airlines flight over Christmas faces an anxious wait to see if it'll actually go.

That's because the airline's computer system mistakenly approved holiday time off requests for too many pilots, leaving the company shorthanded during December.

The Verge reports it will leave as many as 15,000 American Airlines flights without enough crew during the holiday rush.

"The airline is a 24/7 op," Dennis Tajer, an American Airlines captain, told CNBC. "The system went from responsibly scheduling everybody to becoming Santa Claus to everyone.

"The computer said, 'Hey ya'll. You want the days off? You got it.'"

American flies 9 direct routes from Minneapolis-St. Paul, including New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, as well as taking connecting passengers to hundreds of cities across the world.

The company is now scrambling to try and rectify the error, offering pilots 1.5 times their usual pay to persuade them to cancel their holiday plans.

The Allied Pilots Association says it was told about the failure with the "pilot schedule bidding system" on Friday, and as a result "thousands of flights currently do not have pilots assigned to fly them during the upcoming critical holiday period."

Next Up

Minneapolis police

Man stabbed to death in his Minneapolis home identified

The victim's wife had an order of protection out against the suspect.

FLickr - AL Franken 2016 - Lorie Shaull

Al Franken filling in as guest host of 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'

Franken, a comedian and former Minnesota senator, will perform comedy four nights in a row in Minneapolis following the appearance on the show.

Flickr - Minneapolis police squad - Chad Davis

1 dead, 1 critical after shooting at 38th and Chicago in Minneapolis

It's the second killing in a week at the intersection in south Minneapolis.

Screen Shot 2022-08-14 at 10.24.22 AM

Teen driver crashes into parked payloader; 16-year-old passenger dies

The crash happened early Saturday morning in Waconia.

Screen Shot 2022-08-14 at 10.10.50 AM

Barrage of gunfire injures boy in Brooklyn Park; vehicles, apartments damaged

Police say they recovered evidence that more than 40 rounds were fired in the shooting.

Screen Shot 2022-08-14 at 9.15.07 AM

Minnesota Wild back away from thin blue line T-shirt giveaway

The giveaway backfired when word of it reached social media.

Screen Shot 2022-08-13 at 1.26.13 PM

Workers at Minneapolis Trader Joe's become 2nd in nation to unionize

The vote was certified by the National Labor Relations Board Friday.

ATV, all-terrain vehicle

Driver killed in ATV crash in Brooklyn Park

The crash occurred in Monroe Park Friday night.

ambulance

Woman killed by suspected drunk-driver in St. Louis County

The crash occurred on Highway 21 in Embarrass Township Friday night.

Related

American Airlines to start flights from Duluth Airport

It'll fly to Chicago O'Hare International.

Book your flights now if you're traveling for the holidays

Our travel bloggers Twice The Baggage says this is as cheap it'll get this close to Christmas.

Delta tops Wall Street Journal's 'Best Airline' rankings

The world's second largest airline counts the Twin Cities as one of its major hubs.

Travelers have another airline option from MSP – JetBlue

The low-cost airline landed for the first time in the Twin Cities on Thursday.

Coronavirus: Delta, other major airlines extend waivers on change fees

People are thinking twice about travel as the COVID-19 virus spreads.