American Airlines reports that it has not yet canceled any flights in December due to a glitch that resulted in a number of flights not having pilots assigned to fly them over the busy holiday travel period, according to a statement provided to Travel Agent.
According to the latest statement from the airline, out of the 200,000 that will operate in December, only a few hundred currently do not have a pilot assigned, a number American says continues to decrease. Additionally, the airline said that in December it has more reserve pilots on hand than in normal months, which provides the ability to fly many of the trips that are currently uncovered.
The update follows this week’s announcement by the Allied Pilots Association (APA), a union representing pilots for American Airlines, that an error in American’s pilot schedule bidding system resulting in a number of flights not having pilots assigned to fly them during the busy holiday travel period from December 17 – 31.
At the time, American Airlines said it was working to address the issue and avoid cancellations using reserve pilots and by paying pilots who pick up certain open trips 150 percent of their hourly rate.
This holiday travel season could be a busy one. While organizations like AAA and Airlines for America (A4A), who typically release holiday travel forecasts, have not yet released projections for Christmas and New Year’s travel, this past Thanksgiving weekend was a busy one. AAA called it the busiest Thanksgiving travel period in a dozen years, with 50.9 million Americans traveling 50 or more miles from home. A4A said 28.5 million passengers flew, a 3 percent uptick from 2016.