Holiday traveling just got a tad more difficult, especially if you’re an American Airlines customer.
After what appears to be a computer glitch, all American Airlines’ pilots were given the green light to go ahead and get their requested Christmas time off. As a result, 15,000 flights in December will have no pilots.
*American Airlines Breakroom*— Nathan J. Welsch (@nathanjwelsch) November 29, 2017
Pilot 1: You working over Christmas?
Pilot 2: Nah. Took vacation.
Pilot 1: Me too.
Pilot 3: Hey same here!
Pilot 459: So uh....who’s flying the planes? pic.twitter.com/WVsndan5sx
Hey, American Airlines... pic.twitter.com/zBvBIs7rX3— Tim Roberts (@21stCenturyTim) November 29, 2017
American Airlines right now pic.twitter.com/QPRrepD3v3— Alex Guillén (@alexcguillen) November 29, 2017
As the company tries its best to take the now-granted requests back without causing much of a problem, the pilots’ union is pressing to ensure their right to keep their requested vacation protected. Depending on how negotiations go, the company may even offer time and half pay to any pilot who decides to work through the holiday. After all, the holiday season is the busiest time for air travel.
According to American Airlines’ spokesperson Matt Miller, the firm is doing all it can to both take care of the pilots and ensure customers are arriving at their destinations during the holiday. Still, things could get complicated if not enough pilots sign up to pick up the slack. Due to the presence of very strict regulations concerning the pilot’s schedule structure and how many hours pilots can travel, American Airlines may have to look elsewhere for help.
To customers, this piece of news means that they should be prepared for extra delays this holiday season, unless, of course, they can change their plans in time and, perhaps, book a flight with another better-ranked airline.