A glitch in American Airlines' computer system has left thousands of holiday flights sans pilot.
The airline's scheduling system allowed for many pilots to take days off simultaneously, and they did — around the holidays. This has caused quite a mess, since there are now scores of flights without pilots, including in some of the country's biggest hubs, like New York City's JFK and LaGuardia, Chicago's O'Hare, Miami, and Dallas-Fort Worth.
Now, American Airlines, which is the largest carrier in the U.S., is offering its pilots 150% of their hourly pay to get them to work on those days, a spokesperson for the company told CNBC.
"The airline is a 24/7 op," Dennis Tajer, an American Airlines captain, told CNBC. "The system went from responsibly scheduling everybody to becoming Santa Claus to everyone.
"The computer said, 'Hey y'all. You want the days off? You got it.'"
American Airlines spokesperson Matt Miller said the airline is "working diligently" to address the issue in order to avoid cancellations. He said the airline will work with the Allied Pilots Association, the union that represents about 15,000 of its pilots, "to take care of our pilots and ensure we get our customers to where they need to go over the holidays."
Meanwhile, people on Twitter collectively freaked out.
Can you imagine being the person at American Airlines who discovered this glitch and then had to tell the higher ups? I’m having a nervous breakdown for them.— sarabeth (@sarabethwarren) November 29, 2017
Oh god, we're so embarrassed for that poor employee.
This really is an HR nightmare.
Be nice to airline employees!
Home Alone jokes? Sure, why not.
Santa's reindeer! Brilliant plan.