While airline companies are having hard times with cancelled flights lately due to worker shortages, American Airlines has additional problems after the company’s employees dropped assignments for flights in July during a glitch in the company’s scheduling platform that lasted for several hours.
According to multiple reports, the glitch lasted for several hours Saturday overnight, a period in which employees, captains and first officers, were allowed to drop thousands of July assignments. The information about the problem with the platform was also confirmed by the pilots’ union.
This issue is yet another major headache for American Airlines just at the start of the holiday season. The company initially announced the dropped assignments wouldn’t cause any disruptions in the schedule. However, the Allied Pilots Association later said that the company had already offered additional pay for pilots whose dropped trips the airline reinstated.
“As a result of this technical glitch, certain trip trading transactions were able to be processed when it shouldn’t have been permitted,” the airline said in a statement. “We already have restored the vast majority of the affected trips and do not anticipate any operational impact because of this issue.”
American Airlines reportedly reinstated 80% of the flights, and per the most recent data provided by the Allied Pilots Association, the company lacks either a captain, first officer, or both for more than 12,000 flights.
Pilots can drop or pick up flights on a regular basis, but airline workers have a hard time getting time off during the summer and holidays, when schedules are at their busiest to meet strong demand.
At this point, it remains unclear how the airline will solve the issue, taking into consideration the fact that most of their flights during the summer season are expected to be fully booked.