American Airlines may have just thrown your holiday travel plans into chaos. The carrier is dealing with the aftermath of a massive scheduling error that accidentally granted vacation time to too many pilots during the holiday period, causing widespread staff shortages on thousands of forthcoming flights.
The Allied Pilots Association, the union representing AA employees, confirmed the news in a statement but was mum on the specific number of flights affected so far, writing: "thousands of flights currently do not have pilots assigned to fly them during the upcoming critical holiday period."
Originally, the airline's computer system showed ample personnel were available to work on holiday flights. In reality, that wasn't the case. According to a Chicago Tribune report, some of the affected flights are scheduled "without a captain, first officer, or both," and originate out of various cities including Boston, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, and Charlotte. Dallas-Fort Worth International, the country's biggest airline hub, is also effected but to an unknown extent.