NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There’s still no solution for a computer glitch putting Christmas travel plans in jeopardy for American Airlines customers.

Hundreds of flights might not be able to leave the ground, leaving passengers wondering what to do.

As CBS2’s Marc Liverman reported, it might be a little harder to get into the holiday spirit this year for passengers scheduled to fly North America’s largest airline.

“I’m waiting for American to solve it,” one woman said.


The Allied Pilots Association estimates 15,000 flights between December 17 and 31 are at risk of being cancelled because they don’t have a full crew.

“I feel very sorry, you know, people work very hard, and I really hope they get onto their flights,” said passenger Boruch Schlander.

“I think it’s terrible and it’s mismanagement,” another woman added.

The pilots union told CBS News a glitch in the computer system American uses for scheduling did not account for the busier holiday travel season – meaning not enough pilots to fly all the planes.

“Obviously, American does not want to be the airline equivalent of Scrooge and cancel a lot of people’s vacations,” said airline analyst Henry Harteveldt.

The airline is planning to use reserve crews and offer to pay up to 150 percent of the hourly rate to pilots who pick up certain open trips. So far, it isn’t offering any passenger refunds.

“I would hope American would be good for it,” one man said.

Whether American pays or not, some passengers say they will eat the cost and book a second flight on a different airline.

“I’d bite the bullet, because I’m not going to wait,” said passenger Annette Nettles. “Christmas is a holiday that every family spends together.”

Even if that means an extra few hundred dollars for a backup ticket.