As flight delays and cancellations continue to hit the mainstream media, both passengers and pilots are expressing frustration with the state of unreliable air travel.
With more and more pilots experiencing work fatigue, airlines are starting to draw even more criticism for asking pilots to work too many flights due to employee shortages.
And now as a result, hundreds of off-duty Delta Airlines pilots have decided to picket in order to demand better pay and schedules.
The picketing is expected to occur very soon at some the country’s most significant airports, like LAX, JFK, and Atlanta.
The Air Line Pilots Association has claimed that over 14,000 of its members are working longer hours, despite the numerous flight cancellations as of late.
Delta pilot Jason Ambrosi blamed Delta’s poor flight scheduling for the increase in fatigue and resulting wage demand.
The average annual salary for a Delta Pilot in the United States currently sits at around $157,912.
Here’s what Daily Mail reported:
‘The Delta pilots last signed a new contract in 2016 and are currently flying under work rules and pay rates negotiated over six years ago,’ ‘It’s been two-and-a-half-years since our contract became amendable and three-and-a-half years since the Delta pilots last had a pay raise. Meanwhile, our quality of life has eroded due to management’s unwillingness to schedule the airline properly,’
Airlines for America President Nicholas Calio spoke with Fox News, sharing that millions of people booked flights during the recent holiday weekend.
Calio shared, “It’s already been a bleak travel season for the airline industry, which has had to drop 15% of the flights they originally planned for June through August to make the remaining flights more reliable”
Delays have effected over 25% of total flights and increased ticket prices by an average of 20%, which has led to a great deal of frustration for flyers, many of whom have taken to social media to discuss why air travel has become so much more difficult.
One twitter user blamed the Biden Administration and the vaccine mandates imposed on pilots by their companies saying “Lets Go Brandon”
19k flights have been canceled/ delayed since Thursday. 4,200 flights were delayed, 900 canceled on Sunday alone due to shortages in skilled positions!
Biden Admin mandated vaccines for pilots/personnel, many of whom either quit or were fired for refusingpic.twitter.com/ImnEIrI7Di
— Ronald Kelly (@RonK3l) June 20, 2022
Airline workers have also spoken out, expressing their growing frustrations about being short-staffed and the regulatory issues they face.
8. When flight crews get delayed we time out. We can NOT fly longer than 16 hours. Its illegal. So it doesn’t matter if you have a wedding to get to, when we are done we are done. The way things are now, there are no back up crews, so when this happens your flight cancels.
— KATE (@kateeya_) June 23, 2022
Pilots became essential for reviving airlines following the pandemic shutdowns, even though their salary has not changed since contract discussions back in 2016.
A Department of Transportation survey reveals that Americans complained about American airlines more than three times as much in April compared to pre-pandemic levels as on-time arrivals declined.