As a result of weeks worth of travel issues, including flights being delayed and cancelled last minute across the country, now Delta Air Lines pilots are attempting to directly appeal to customers.
Flight-tracking service FlightAware noted over 3,000 US flights and 4,700 international flights that had been cancelled abruptly. A total of 12,500 flights across the world were cancelled, with about 5,600 being in the US.
In an open letter posted on the Air Line Pilots Association website, many pilots echoed their customers’ complaints and frustration.
“We have been working on our days off, flying a record amount of overtime to help you get to your destination,” the pilots wrote. “At the current rate, by this fall, our pilots will have flown more overtime in 2022 than in the entirety of 2018 and 2019 combined, our busiest years to date.”
Many pilots expressed being incredibly “disheartened” to watch as numerous customers are stuck waiting in long lines to rebook their travel due to “scheduling issues that could have been prevented.”
“We empathize and share in your frustration over the delays, cancellations, and disrupted travel plans you’ve experienced. We agree; it is unacceptable,” the letter stated.
In fact, Delta took the top spot for most flights cancelled over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, due to staffing, weather, and air traffic control concerns. According to captain Jason Ambrosi, the union has been warning the airline company to take caution when adding back flights while it continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It gives us no pleasure to tell management, ‘We told you so,’” Ambrosi said in a statement.
Recently Fox Weather reported on a cold front coming through Ohio Valley, Northeast, and mid-Atlantic which triggered many severe thunderstorms in those areas, and according to the National Weather Service, resulted in over 300 reports of wind damage.
Many travelers took to social media to offer their complaints regarding late cancellations, missed baggage, and long wait times to reach airline customer care. In some worst case scenarios, travelers were forced to sleep in airports with no idea as to when they could make it home.
In an attempt to resolve the situation, Delta Air Lines issued travel waivers to customers, allowing them to reschedule flights to and from Baltimore and Washington.