Apparently American had a glitch in their scheduling software where EVERY pilot who asked for vacation time around the holidays got it. And they just realized that means they've got more than 15,000 FLIGHTS scheduled that don't have anyone to fly them.
Now, you'd think they could just offer the pilots more money and get them to cancel their vacations, but it's not that simple.
American is required to work with the pilots' union to figure out how much money to offer . . . but so far, they haven't done that, they've just thrown out some numbers they came up with without any input.
So as we get closer to Christmas, there's still no real solution. And the odds are that they'll reach SOME deal . . . but then again, the airlines have proven they'd rather beat up passengers than shell out a few hundred bucks, so who knows?