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American lacks pilots for some December flights on IT flaw

American lacks pilots for some December flights on IT flaw

A glitch in the system that bids for pilots' time off based on seniority is behind the shortage, the Allied Pilots Association union said.

In a statement American Airlines said they're quote "working diligently to address the issues and expect to avoid cancellations this holiday season".

The system error was disclosed to pilots on Friday, the union said.

An American Airlines scheduling glitch is wreaking havoc on holiday travel plans. The union wants input with American to find a solution that will motivate pilots to give up vacation they've already been granted after years of working over the holidays, according to Dennis Tajer, an APA spokesman.

The issue with scheduling left flights from the airline's hubs, including New York, Miami, Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago O'Hare, and New York LaGuardia without any pilots assigned to fly, according to memo seen by CNBC.

American pared share gains on the news, climbing 1.3 percent to $49.86 at 1:51 p.m.in NY, easily the smallest gain on a Standard & Poor's index of the five biggest USA airlines. "This is a crisis right now, and in that crisis, they've gone solo", he said.

However, the union has filed a grievance against the airline, stating this violates pilot contracts.

"I'm watching a "Grinch that stole Christmas" thing happening". The reported holiday period of flights without pilots next month is five days longer.

"This is certainly not routine", Tajer said.


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