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American Airlines flights during holidays currently without pilots, says union

(Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

NEW YORK – If you can't book a ticket on Santa's sleigh, the holidays may become more of a travel nightmare than usual this year.

According to the pilot's union, thousands of American Airlines flights next month, including over the busy holiday travel period, do not have pilots assigned to them due to a computer glitch.

The Allied Pilots Association says those flights on the largest passenger airline in the U.S. are now in jeopardy of being cancelled, leaving thousands of travelers stranded.

The glitch allowed all pilots to book time off between Dec. 17-31, affecting a reported 15,000 flights. The scheduling computer showed flights were covered when they were not.

The Dallas Morning News reports American Airlines is offering pilots 150 percent of their normal hourly pay to fly their planes, but the union claims the solution violates its labor agreement.

"We will work with the APA to take care of our pilots and ensure we get our customers to where they need to go over the holidays,” said an American Airlines spokesperson in a statement.


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