Faced with the prospect of sweeping flight cancellations during the busy holiday season, American Airlines said Friday that it had resolved a scheduling problem that had left thousands of flights without assigned pilots.
“Customers can rest assured we will have the full schedule covered in December,” Matt Miller, a spokesman for American Airlines, said in a phone interview on Friday evening.
More than 10,000 flights were in danger of cancellation this week after a scheduling error allowed too many pilots to take time off during the high-volume travel days of late December.
But on Friday morning, the airline’s president, Robert Isom, met with Daniel F. Carey, the president of the Allied Pilots Association, and they agreed on a plan, said Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the union, which represents American Airlines pilots. “So in record time, the situation was handled,” Mr. Tajer said.
Neither the airline nor the union would share details about the agreement or how much the pilots would be compensated for taking an unassigned shift. But both said more information would be made public soon, after the pilots themselves are fully briefed on the agreement.
Mr. Tajer said that while flights remained unassigned, the terms of Friday’s agreement were expected to attract enough pilots to cover the gap.
The scheduling problem was caused by an error in an internal system that pilots can use to drop or trade flights. “It presented the opportunity to drop trips that shouldn’t have been able to be dropped,” said Mr. Miller, the American Airlines spokesman, adding that it was “an isolated incident and a processing error.”