Will Airline Employee Unrest Translate Into Summer Weather Disaster?

The Christian Science Monitor seems to think so. They’ve got an article about the state of airline employee unrest and its potential to cause tons of customer service problems this summer as airlines book beyond their capacity to deal with weather problems and staff their planes and terminals with employees who took pay cuts and lost pensions only to watch their CEO walk away with $40 million dollar bonuses. Not an ideal situation.

Aside from employees who feel betrayed by management, there’s the question of, well, poor management:

Labor troubles aside, even the big airlines’ lobbyist, the ATA, suggests that passengers be prepared for potential complications this summer.

“Absolute patience and flexibility where possible,” says David Castelveter of the ATA. “There are full airplanes, which means when there is disruption, the carriers don’t have the luxury of having a $30 million or $40 million aircraft waiting around [to take up the slack]. The carriers just don’t have the space to get passengers quickly to their destination.”

Rememember, if you’re having a miserable time stuck on a plane with 250 angry passengers and a pilot who used to make $40,000 more than he does now, send us an email about it at tips [at] consumerist [dot] com. —MEGHANN MARCO

As summer begins, trouble in the US airways [Christian Science Monitor]
(Photo: saramarie)

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  1. wesrubix says:

    Virgin US will give these lousy US airlines a run for their money. Maybe Southwest will also finally teach them that debt financing (leasing) is not the way to build a successful airline.

  2. The airlines are trapped; they can’t raise prices, or they’ll see load factors and revenue drop off. They can’t lower prices because they’re operating on razor-thin margins. They can’t improve service because either they don’t know how or can’t pay for it.

    Just quit and start over.

  3. jtlight says:

    And this is why I fly Southwest…

  4. Jesus On A Pogo Stick says:

    This is why I travel by car or train. Yeah, it is a lot slower but I also don’t have to be crammed into a plane with crying babies, the assclowns that I would be stuck next to, the possibility of not even getting on the plane, blah blah blah.