0 min left

With Summer Travel Season Approaching, Delta Pilots Air Frustrations

As Summer 2022 could be among the busiest for air travel, Delta Air Lines’ pilots are sharing a message to passengers: “Delta’s management needs to [go above and beyond] before you lose confidence in the Delta brand.”
Delta Air Lines pilots say they are working more overtime than their busiest pre-pandemic years and are demanding the Atlanta-based carrier to do more to help get passengers to their final destination this summer.


After staging an informational protest in front of the airline’s annual shareholder meeting, the Delta Master Executive Committee (MEC) of the Air Line Pilots Association wrote an open letter to customers apologizing for the delays so far.


Pilots Say 2022 Overtime Could be Greater than 2018 and 2019 Combined

One of the recurring headlines dominating the news cycle over the past 12 months are airline network meltdowns caused by several issues. In July 2021, Spirit Airlines experienced mass cancellations for nearly a week due to a combination of weather and personnel placement. Months later, Southwest Airlines experienced a similar issue, but said that employees frustrated over vaccination policies were not to blame. More recently, a chain reaction over Memorial Day 2022 caused airlines to cancel thousands of flights – including FlyerTalkers traveling aboard Delta.


Now the pilots union is stepping up to ask more from Delta to alleviate summer pressures. The trade organization claims there is more the airline can do to ensure flyers get to their destinations safely and on time beyond asking pilots to work more.


According to the aviators, their overtime rate in 2022 is set to exceed the combined extra hours put in during 2018 and 2019 by the fall of this year. While the pilots say they are willing to put in the work to prioritize safety, Delta needs to do more to ensure flights can arrive and depart on time without friction.


“The Delta pilots take great pride in getting our passengers to their destinations safely and on time,” Delta ALPA MEC chair Capt. Jason Ambrosi said in a statement. “It’s disheartening to see customers waiting in long lines to rebook flights due to scheduling issues that could have been prevented.”


The union is currently negotiating with the airline on a new contract, saying they have not seen a new agreement since 2016. In the end of the letter, the pilots warn that without a change, things for the brand could only get worse.


“As we welcome you aboard, we will continue to go above and beyond to ensure the integrity of the operation,” the letter reads. “Delta management needs to do the same before you lose confidence in the Delta brand.”


Pilot Hours, Operational Issues and Regional Training Among ALPA Fights

Working pilot hours are not the only issue ALPA is taking on this year. While the leaders of legacy airlines say they need more regional airline pilots, the union says more than ever have been trained and are waiting to join the ranks of U.S.-based carriers.


Feature image courtesy: ALPA Delta Master Executive Committee via Twitter