September 25, 2022
Crew shortages, rising demand threaten fall and winter travel seasons

Fall and winter threaten with shortage of pilots, flight attendants and gate agents travel plans In the US, after a turbulent summer, airline unions say. According to the aviation industry, there has been a spurt in fliers, as concerns of COVID-19 ease.

The unions spoke Tuesday at a CBS News Travel Summit in Washington.

Dennis Tazar, a pilot for American Airlines and spokesman for the Allied Pilots Association, says recruitment failures and pandemic-era furloughs have hit airlines.

“Airlines — including American Airlines — are still suffering from this mismanagement,” Tajer said. “There is so much uncertainty in the fall and winter schedules that we can’t keep quiet.”

This month, pilots protested at airports across the country, threatening to strike if airlines didn’t approve better contracts for them and fix operational issues that led to delays and cancellations.

The flight attendant says they are too skinny.

“Staffing is at its lowest across the board,” says Sarah Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants.
JetBlue is one of the airlines that faced backlash earlier this year after hundreds of flights were canceled due to staff crunch.

JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes also blamed a different factor — restrictions caused by Florida rocket launches in nearby airspace.

“We created this kind of dynamic where the system couldn’t handle the number of flights,” Hayes says.

JetBlue has trimmed routes in 2023 to “ensure operational reliability” as it pursues a merger with low-cost airline Spirit.

But Nick Calio, the head of Airlines for America, blames more “inexperienced passengers” for some of the disruptions, while adding that the industry remains resilient.

“People want to go places, they’re going places,” Calio says.

Over Labor Day weekend, the TSA says it screened nearly 8.8 million passengers, surpassing pre-pandemic 2019 levels as demand continues to rise.

In August, the Department of Transportation said summer data showed complaints were 270% higher than pre-pandemic levels.

Secretary Pete Buttigieg, in a letter to airlines, called on them to improve their customer service plans as the Biden administration moves forward with a Online “Dashboard” To help passengers navigate airline policies for travel disruptions.

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