Air travel delays and cancellations filled the month of July with thousands of angry customers, which does not bode well for a harmonious workplace. Much of the problem comes down to staffing shortages and weather-related issues, but ongoing pilot strikes are not helping the situation. Major airlines including Delta, United, and American Airlines all feel the strain of overbooked schedules and staff exhaustion.
Pilots find themselves in particular demand, and unions are leveraging that weight to demand those huge raises that we told you about a few weeks ago. The Air Line Pilots Association representing United Airlines pilots will soon head back to the bargaining table after union members expressed disappointment in the deal’s raises (14% spread over 18 months).
That sentiment spans the globe, including in Sweden, where Scandinavian Airlines appears to have barely survived a 15-day strike while the union and airline (which filed for bankruptcy protection on the second day) hammered out a collective bargaining agreement for pilots.
Don’t forget about flight attendants. Flight delays and cancellations toss their schedules into turmoil, often without full compensation while attendants wait alongside frustrated passengers. No doubt, the aviation industry will feel the crunch for months to come.