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Pilots picket at 13 major airports ahead of Labor Day weekend

(The Hill) – Off-duty pilots from six airlines will picket airports across the country on Thursday ahead of Labor Day’s busy travel weekend to help improve working conditions and benefits. It’s stretched.

The one-day picket campaign, organized by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), which represents thousands of pilots on major U.S. airlines, has come amid a chaotic summer when passenger complaints about travel have surged. takes place at the end of the travel season. Demand reignited.

“When ALPA pilots stand shoulder-to-shoulder in support of a common goal, people notice it, and so do airlines,” the union said in a statement.

“Therefore, on September 1, we invited all ALPA pilots to participate in an ALPA-wide information picket to remind the public that all airline pilots are working together to support the profession-wide goal of improvement. , lawmakers, airlines, working conditions and benefits,” the statement continued.

Pilots are prohibited from conducting brief strikes while on duty under federal regulations, and a picket by off-duty pilots on Thursday is not expected to affect flight operations.

ALPA organizes pickets at 13 major airports nationwide, 11 of which serve as hubs for major airlines. Pilots from Delta Air Lines, Endeavor Airlines, JetBlue, Sun Country, Spirit Airlines and United Airlines are participating, according to the union.

This is as airlines struggle to quickly restructure their operations to meet the rebound in travel demand. After shrinking during the pandemic. More than 2 million people are now averaging through the country’s airports, the highest level since the pandemic began.

Shortages, combined with problems such as severe summer storms and rising fuel costs, are frustrating passengers in the face of cancellations and delays.

Passenger complaints surged in the first half of this year, prompting Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to propose tightening federal regulations to clarify when passengers must receive refunds. Buttigieg’s department released his customer service dashboard on Thursday to help passengers understand the airline’s guarantees when flights are delayed or cancelled.

“@Delta_Pilots are picketing @JFKairport to show @Delta they are not ready for a new contract,” says ALPA’s Delta Pilots Group murmured“It has been 2.5 years since the contract amendment date and 3.5 years since #DeltaPilots last received a raise.”

Other ALPA pilot groups are negotiating big pay increases amid struggling airlines and a tight labor market, as pilots on Thursday’s strike seek increased profits from airlines. has been successful in

The pilot unions of three regional airlines wholly owned by American Airlines (Envoy Air, Piedmont Airlines and PSA Airlines) recently announced contractual agreements that include significant wage increases. ALPA denies the existence of a shortage, but regional airlines bear the brunt of what many in the industry see as a national pilot shortage.

Many industry workers are frustrated by their experience of long working hours and last-minute swaps, saying the airline’s recent scheduling snafu will continue unless working conditions improve.

JetBlue pilots at Los Angeles International Airport on Thursday picket with signs Read “Honest Schedules Matter” and “Exhausting Schedules = Unreliable Operations”.

Some airlines have cut schedules in August to improve credibility.Delta Air Lines noted the change Wednesday as it touted preparations for the upcoming Labor Day travel weekend. The airline said it was preparing to serve 2.9 customers over the weekend.

Allison Ausband, Chief Customer Experience Officer, Delta Air Lines, said: “This summer, we have taken steps to ensure that our employees have the tools and support they need to live up to our high reliability standards while providing the warm, attentive customer service that Delta is known for. I taught.”

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