Back to Squawk list
  • 39

Computer Glitch Leaves American Airlines Flights Without Pilots

This morning, American Airlines announced that an overnight computer glitch has allowed American pilots and first officers to drop their assigned, scheduled flights. The pilots union representing the airline subsequently announced that approximately 12,000 flights now have no assigned pilots or first officers through the end of July. ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

jwmson 22
I am so old I can remember when American was the best airline in the country. Back in the last millennium.
dulaney glen 4
DITTO ! I'm 88, and AA was the 'Gold Standard', at least until I begame eligible for Medicare. Nowadays, it/its pronouncements/ its Executive apparatus/Board cannot be trusted. What a shame.
pjshield 22
Some would call it a computer glitch; others would same it's a programmer's f**k up. The computer does only what it's instructed to do.
pjshield 5
"others would say..."
Bruce Johnson 3
I think it is more likely operator error. Someone who didn't quite know what they were doing changing an option in the program.
Jim Nasby 3
It's actually a management screw-up. Humans make mistakes, and you need to build procedures that account for that and don't allow mistakes to become problems. If this ultimately was a coding screw-up then management isn't insisting on adequate automated test coverage (which isn't surprising, since a lot of managers see tests as nothing but a waste of time and money).
Jeff Smith 9
35 years retired pilot at AA. There is a system that allows you to drop or trade a work assignment for another. Trips are color coded green or red depending on manning levels and is fluid with sick calls and reserve manning.
It appears like 2017, everything turned green. If you had a trip that flew all night or nothing but weekends then a pilot would drop that in a heartbeat, knowing that with the pilot shortage crew schedule would call with a better trip. Everyone operates as a individual contractor, not knowing what is red or green in any other pilots schedule
Glenda Good 14
The airlines have us all by the short hairs. Fares go up and service goes down. SMH
Daniel Stein 5
As long as the pilots don't drop their assignments after the flight has taken off...
James Simms 1
Like the ‘Left Behind’ series.
Brenden Lockwood 5
That’s bad, I fly with American Airlines on July 13 and July 17. I hope my flight still has pilots.
srobak 1
no you don't fly with them on the 13th and 17th :)
Daniel Stein 4
ATC: Cactus 1549, say intentions.

1549: Ain't nobody here but us chickens.
John May 4
Are these the same computer people and management that couldn't find the 500,000 frequent flyer miles I earned on US Airways when they merged with American so that 500,000 miles could be combined with the 900,000 miles I have flown on American? They could find the locator numbers for the miles I had redeemed for free trips but they couldn't locate the miles to combined putting me in the million mile club. Neither Doug Parker or any of his minions ever responded to the two letters I sent him. Not surprised issues like this still happen.
Nathan Cox 10
“Glitch?” It’s really more likely they let too many go into early retirement in 2020 and then when people came back to fly, they were not prepared for such a bounce back. Airlines all over cannot hire and train pilots fast enough. The cherry on top is the forced jab in order to stay employed. This was the perfect pilot shortage storm.
Susan Yeatts -1
That’s a different issue altogether.
John Sgarlata 6
Let me get this straight, the airlines are blaming everything from weather, schedule changes, missing aircraft, missing crews, and passengers who have had their trips interrupted or canceled arbitrarily with little to no notification. Do any of these gutless wonders running these companies have a clue? Show me the logic for American in this case: to fly from Charlotte/Douglas to Salisbury, MD a 456-mile trip first stop in Dallas then back to Atlanta then THE NEXT DAY ( clearly stated on their website, maybe get a flight back to MD. 21- 28 hours to fly 456 miles? Please don't take any responsibility for incompetence or lack of any strategic plan to recover. Just keep the ticket prices as high as you can !
paul trubits 1
AA has two daily nonstop flights from KCLT to KSBY that are about 90 minutes. Wave when you fly over the golf course on final. My house is on the right.
Leander Williams 3
A lot of people are saying operator error. Who said it was an error? Hackers are more sophisticated than ever nowadays.
Bill Rothanburg 3
A lot of "hacks" come from the inside...

I'm more inclined to think that somebody opened the schedule up. Either by accident or intentionally.
Mildred Sellers 3
Hey don't worry.....this bunch of crazies just offered to give the pilots 300% pay if they will take the trip. Throw the money at them and they will work. Contract talks are still on going but hey, we just do it the USAirways way.
The fake bankruptcy and the takeover by the Pheonix group has ruined a once wonderful company. Glad I got out with 40 years of service to the Legacy American Airlines.
frequentflyguy 8
Sorry Mildred, as a long time EP/CP with AA and USAir AA has the most surly, disinterested rude staff I have ever encountered. USAirways under bankruptcy may have been a bit bare bones but the staffs were appreciative and friendly. Same with the other AA acquisition airlines. You may be different but on a whole the legacy AA team was anti-customer and still is.
Larry Tullos 3
They have been rebranded AAnus for good reasons
Susan Yeatts 1
You’re not the first person I’ve heard make a comment like this about their staff but hundreds of thousands of miles the last 5-6 years and this has never, not even once, been my experience. It’s been quiet the opposite and I am just not sure why.
Duane Mader 8
Talked to an airline pilot who Lost his medical after the 2nd jab knocked him on his a##. 1st one nothing.
Duane Mader 8
Downvote for telling the truth?
Jim Smirh 3
Every program has at least one bug.

Every program can be reduced in size by at least one line.

Therefore, every program can be reduced to a single line - which is a bug.

--Anonymous Retired Programmer
Mike Williams 2
There is an old say of computers=GIGO=GARBAGE IN GARBAGE OUT
Jim Allen 0
Yes, but it’s the pilots that did it. The system allowed it.
SamArnold 2
They rely on a computer to assign pilots?
What happened to staff members rostering pilots manually so a human can see exactly who's rostered on each flight and make sure it's done right?
Jim Allen 5
I’ll grant them that- I’m a follower of a FA on YT and the crew scheduling system really works out well as far as being able to manage their own schedule. This sounds like someone screwed up and looking for a place to lay the blame.
srobak 2
not really... the pilots despise the whole schedule bidding process, and it is largely what is responsible for driving pilots away over the last 10 years prior to the jab requirement. too many pilots getting shafted, unable to move up, or almost permanently stuck on shit routes & hours.
Kevin Keswick 1
Sure it was just a computer glitch. We all know why there is a shortage of pilots and it has nothing to do with computer glitches


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.