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Thousands of American Airlines' Christmas flights left without pilots

It’s been reported that pilots are being offered additional pay if they volunteer to work over the holiday season.

Image: Philip Pilosian via Shutterstock

A SYSTEM ERROR has resulted in thousands of American Airlines flights, scheduled to fly over the Christmas period, without assigned pilots.

The Allied Pilots’ Association said that management said there had been an error within the pilot schedule bidding system.

The bidding system allows pilots of a higher rank to book time off first, and prevents pilots from booking if there’s no availability.

But due to a glitch in the system, thousands of flights currently do not have pilots assigned to fly them during the upcoming “critical” holiday period, the union said.

Today, management issued an update detailing the ‘significant holes’ in the operation and unilaterally invoked a solution for crewing affected flights.

The group told Reuters that an estimated 15,000 flights have been affected between 17 to the 31 December. In a statement to Reuters, a spokesperson for the airline Matt Miller said:

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.

It’s been reported that pilots are being offered 1.5 times the normal rate if they volunteer to work over the Christmas period and to avoid cancelling scheduled flights.

American Airline is the world’s largest airline, and operates around 6,700 flights a day.

Read: Sacked Aer Lingus worker blamed drinking the night before for showing up over the company limit at 4.20pm

Read: ‘It’s been two months, it’s just not on’: Customers say Ryanair still owes money after cancellations

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