This American Airlines Scheduling Glitch Might Ruin Your Holiday Travel Plans

Cue the collective groans.

This-American-Airlines-Scheduling-Glitch-Might-Ruin-Your-Holiday-Travel-Plans_738219229_GagliardiImagesGagliardiImages/Shutterstock

It’s official—we’re all counting down the days until the holidays. Nothing beats warm fires, delicious feasts and time spent with our loved ones, after all. The only things we’re not looking forward to? Fighting the crowds at the airport and dealing with insane flight delays like these. Now, you might have one more reason to dread the holiday rush: American Airlines made a staffing error that could put your travel plans at risk.

A glitch in the airline’s scheduling system has allowed too many pilots to take time off for the holidays, Bloomberg reports. The result? More than 15,000 flights don’t have enough crew to staff them, according to an estimate by the Allied Pilots Association.

The impacted flights will depart from some of the world’s busiest airports between December 17 and 31. Hubs likely to be affected include Dallas-Fort Worth, Boston, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Charlotte, North Carolina.

But don’t panic, holiday jet-setters! Before you start making alternative plans, American spokesman Matt Miller assures travelers that the problem will be corrected in time to prevent any delays or cancellations. Other officials agree. Besides, these are much more bizarre reasons for flight delays.

“It will be a challenge, but I don’t think there will be mass cancellations,” John Cox, chief executive officer of Consultant Safety Operating Systems and a former commercial airline pilot, told Bloomberg. “There’s going to be a lot of midnight oil spent on it, but I think they’ll get the vast majority of them covered one way or another.”

Disaster (hopefully!) avoided. But to save your sanity, you still might want to brush up on these helpful travel tips for the holidays.

[Source: Bloomberg]

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Brooke Nelson
Brooke Nelson is a researcher at PBS FRONTLINE in Boston, Massachusetts, and writes regularly about travel, health, and culture news for Reader’s Digest. Previously she was a staff writer at Reader's Digest. Her articles have also appeared on MSN, Business Insider, and Yahoo Finance, among other sites. She earned a BA in international relations from Hendrix College. Follow her on Twitter @BrookeTNelson.