American hopes IT switch doesn't snag flights this weekend

American Airlines will make a big technology change this weekend involving planes and pilots, but passengers won't notice a thing if all goes well.

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Nearly three years after the merger that created the current American, the airline switch to a single flight-operating system instead of three separate systems.

American expects the change to boost efficiency, but like anything involving technology and airlines, it comes with risk. In a memo to employees Friday, executives said hundreds would be staffing "command centers" around the clock in case of hiccups.

American has tried to make the job easier by conducting the technology switchover on a Saturday in early fall, when fewer people are traveling, and by pruning about 200 flights from its schedule from Friday night through early Sunday.