American Airlines says iPad software glitch delays flights

Flying is still expensive, here's why
Flying is still expensive, here's why

An iPad software glitch caused two days of problems for American Airlines, the airline said Wednesday.

The glitch delayed 24 flights on Tuesday and another 50 on Wednesday.

Wednesday afternoon, the airline told CNNMoney the issue had finally been resolved. The problem? An error with the digital map used by pilots in the cockpit.

"Some flights are experiencing an issue with a software application on pilot iPads," American Airlines said in a statement. "In some cases, the flight has had to return to the gate to access a WiFi connection to fix the issue."

Airline spokeswoman Andrea Huguely said 74 flights were affected in all, a tiny fraction of the company's 6,700 daily flights.

"We apologize for the inconvenience to our customers," American Airlines said. "We are working to have them on the way to their destination as soon as possible."

American Airlines (AAL) blamed a faulty third-party app, not Apple (AAPL, Tech30).

In 2013, American Airlines became the first airline to have its pilots rely on iPads for flight plans and navigation. Plans get updated all the time, so the company cut down on lots of excess paper.

The airline has estimated the paperless program saves the company at least 400,000 gallons of fuel every year. In all, 8,000 iPads replaced 24 million pages of documents.

But, as is always the story with neat technology, software isn't always reliable.

So on Wednesday, some pilots went back to their old ways. American Airlines said pilots were able to grab paper charts at airports as a backup.

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