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American Airlines scrambles for holiday pilots

Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 01:04

A scheduling glitch at American Airlines has left thousands of flights in December without scheduled pilots. Diane Hodges reports.

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Tens of thousands of airline passengers could find their holiday travel plans grounded this year, a scheduling glitch at American Airlines leaving more than 15,000 flights in December without pilots. Many passengers have been left in limbo. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNIDENTIFIED TRAVELER, SAYING: "It's super stressful. When your flight plans don't work out, you're kinda left stranded." A spokesman for the pilots' union says the airline's computer accidentally let too many pilots take vacation time during the holidays. The company is now trying to lure them back with offers of extra pay. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CAPTAIN DENNIS TAJER, SPOKESMAN FROM THE ALLIED PILOTS ASSOCIATION, SAYING: "We don't want the story the Grinch that stole Christmas from American Airlines." Airline officials say they'll use reserve pilots to fill in the gaps. At least one analyst is confident that they'll be able to staff all their cockpits. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRIAN SUMERS, AIRLINE BUSINESS REPORTER, SAYING: "This idea that there will be thousands and thousands of canceled flights, I really doubt it, I think the pilots will come to work." But even so...it's a problem that gives the airline's passengers one more thing to worry about this holiday season.

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American Airlines scrambles for holiday pilots

Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 01:04