There’s a decent chance that you’ll be taking some time off in December, be it to celebrate the holidays, because your company is closed, or because those vacation days you’ve accrued don’t carry over into 2018 so you might as well take them now. You might also be using that time off to visit people or places that require a flight.

Last year, AAA projected that 103 million Americans would travel between Dec. 23 and Jan. 2, and you can assume this year won’t be too different. A large percentage of those travelers will be doing so via airplane. That makes December an extremely important month for the airline industry. It’s a time when they literally need all hands on deck in order to fulfill thousands of flights and do their best to keep everything on schedule.

So December, and specifically late December, is probably a really bad time for people necessary to the operation of airplanes to take their vacation as well. Alas, someone at American Airlines probably should have doublechecked on that because, according to reports, a computer glitch that allowed their pilots to request time off during the week of Christmas has left them without enough crews to carry out all of their flights. Oops.


According to the Allied Pilots Association, which represents the pilots, thousands of flights are currently affected. However, in order to entice vacationing pilots back for the holidays, American is offering 150 percent of their normal wages. While that might sound like a sweet deal, especially for cheeky pilots who probably saw this coming, the APA has filed a grievance saying that the proposed workaround violates their contract. According to their spokesperson, the APA wants American to “find a solution that will motivate pilots to give up vacation they’ve already been granted after years of working over the holidays.” In other words, time-and-a-half isn’t gonna cut it, AA.

Per the union, flights affected by the glitch, and currently operating without a captain, originate in Dallas-Fort Worth, Boston, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, and Charlotte. American Airlines says they’ve fixed the glitch and expect it to “operate smoothly from now on.”

They better hope so, because Twitter is already annoying enough as it is with people filling your feed with complaints about their terrible flight experiences. Can you imagine what awaits us all on social media if people start showing up for flights with no pilots? Whatever it costs, American, figure it out. For all our sakes…

[Dallas Morning News]

About Sean Keeley

A graduate of Syracuse University, Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse related things for SB Nation,, Curbed Seattle and many other outlets. He currently lives in Chicago.