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American Airlines
(Flickr Photo / @ Thomas Hawk

If getting over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house involves flying on American Airlines this holiday season, here’s to hoping there’s a pilot on your plane.

A computer scheduling glitch is being blamed for giving time off to too many pilots during the busy December weeks around Christmas. Bloomberg reported Wednesday, as per an account from a union for the carrier’s pilots, that as many as 15,000 flights could be without sufficient crew members from Dec. 17 to 31.

A spokesman for American told Bloomberg that the airline expects to correct the problem and be able to get customers where they need to go over the holidays. Bloomberg said the glitch caused the scheduling system to show planned flights were sufficiently staffed when they actually were not.

The system problem will force the airline to rebuild its staffing schedule similar to what happens after a major weather disruption, according to one analyst.

Matt Miller, the American spokesman, said the carrier, which operates about 6,700 flights per day, is offering pilots 150 percent of their normal hourly wage to pick up some of the flights, the top rate laid out in their contract.

Meanwhile on Twitter, helpful users had all the answers, of course:

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