Frustrations mount for Southwest Airlines pilots as summer season journey picks up – Yahoo Information

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Southwest Airlines pilots on Friday added themselves to the record of disgruntled industrial aviators coping with labor shortages, cancellations, fatigue and unpredictable work shifts.

“We’ve been under a lot of stress for the past year,” mentioned Capt. Casey A. Murray, a pilot and president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association.

He mentioned many pilots arrive at work scheduled to fly to at least one vacation spot solely to obtain a late reassignment notification instructing them to fly elsewhere, and in lots of circumstances, it is a longer flight, which has led pilots feeling fatigued and pissed off.

“What is going on, on a day-to-day basis, is a wasteful use of the pilot resources they have,” Murray mentioned, including, there have been failures in connecting pilots to airplanes, typically due to climate occasions and staffing shortages — and different instances, for causes unknown.

At least 30% of pilots are being reassigned on a regular basis, Murray mentioned. He mentioned Southwest has about 9,600 pilots however declined to say what number of extra it wants to rent to handle the scarcity.

Southwest pilots joined these at Delta Air Lines in venting about fatigue and prolonged work hours.

On Thursday, Delta Air Lines pilots published an open letter to clients in a direct attraction to those that could also be pissed off by flight delays and cancellations forward of the summer season journey season.

“We have been working on our days off, flying a record amount of overtime to help you get to your destination,” the letter states. “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.

The pilot unions representing United, Spirit, JetBlue, Alaska and Allegiant airlines couldn’t be reached for comment.

Delta recently announced it was canceling some 100 daily departures from destinations in the U.S. and Latin America, affecting travel from July 1 to Aug. 7.

As the summer travel season kicks into high gear, airlines have struggled with routine disruptions such as weather, flight cancellations and worker shortages.

JetBlue Airways, Delta Air Lines, Spirit Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines have already scaled back their spring and summer travel schedules to give themselves more room to handle disruptions.

Thousands of U.S. flights were either delayed or canceled as thunderstorms snarled travel to and from some of the country’s busiest airports, according to the flight-tracking site FlightAware.

While Southwest has a shortage of pilots, union officials said the manner in which current pilots are being treated has also affected the airliner.

“If you’re going to continue to misuse us, you’re going to continue to be short of staffing,” Murray mentioned, including he desires his employer to be essentially the most environment friendly and profitable airline firm within the trade.


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