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Pilot Crisis Averted: American Restores Holiday Flights

If American Airlines’ recent scheduling glitch left you wondering whether your holiday flight would be cancelled for lack of available pilots, you can now rest easy.

According to the airline’s statement:

We are pleased to report that together, American and the Allied Pilots Association have put that worry to rest to make sure our flights will operate as scheduled. By working together, we can assure customers that among the many stresses of the season, worrying about a canceled flight won’t be one of them. In short, if Santa is flying, so is American.

The software issue that allowed too many pilots to be approved for vacation time during the travel-heavy last two weeks of December would have resulted in the cancellation of as many 15,000 flights. When the problem was detected, it sparked a skirmish between American and its pilots union, which took exception to the company’s handling of the matter. The airline and the union both confirm that their differences have been resolved.

While the threat of widespread flight disruptions may be gone, it won’t soon be forgotten. The Seattle Times reports that one airline analyst is predicting the meltdown will cost American $10 million in overtime pay to get the pilots back into their seats.

More from SmarterTravel:

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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