On Flying a Struck Airline
The headline today may say more than enough, but read on. I'm writing from Michigan where I just arrived on NWA (I wasn't the one who bought the tickets) which is not only currently flying "scab," but also threatening an even worse situation for its non-striking pilots and flight attendants, who face heavy pay cuts in the latest contract offer. In response to NWA's pleas of bankruptcy and crushing concession demands, pilots, flight attendants, and several other workers at NWA have organized Airline Workers' United. This move, which plans to go industry-wide, holds hope for the labor movement.
The most significant contribution the rest of us can make is of course, not to fly the damn airline. I hate flying anyway, so it shouldn't be too tough in the future. But with the way that the airline industry operates these days,it's hard not to fly "scab air."
Of course, there are the basic moral reasons to avoid flying scab-air, but there are also basic selfish ones. Here's my experience if you needed another reason not to fly a struck airline.
The airline is stretching its workers so far that they delayed my brother's evening flight for TWELVE hours in order to provide pilots with the FAA's mandatory "crew rest." Immediately,I was sure that the incapacity to drum up another crew must be related to the cutbacks and layoffs at NWA. I looked up more info on "crew rest" related delays and see,in the phenomenon, a trick on the airlines' part. They fought the FAA regulation, which is a basic safety precaution, so instead of organizing flight schedules and employees to give adequate hours of crew rest, they must just blow it off, do it at the last minute, in order to build up customer annoyance with the crew.
To read more about how pilots generally are reacting to changes in the airline industry, read the airline pilots' forum.