U.S. Airline Unions Do Support Subsidies… When It Benefits Them


We’ve seen a lot of hypocrisy from U.S. airlines when it comes to their condemnation of the Gulf carriers. For example, the lobbying group of the major U.S. legacy airlines shamed the U.S. Travel Association for working with the Gulf carriers, when one of their member airlines has a partnership with two of the three carriers themselves (American partners with both Etihad and Qatar).

Well, when it comes to hypocrisy regarding the Gulf carriers, I don’t think it gets more obvious than this:

Continue Reading »

British Airways Flight Attendants To Go On Strike Over “Poverty Pay”


British Airways has a few different flight attendant contracts. One of those contracts is for their “mixed fleet” crews, which are their relatively newly hired flight attendants.

As you may remember a few years back, British Airways flight attendants went on strike because they couldn’t agree with management on contract terms, and British Airways threatened that if they didn’t have more reasonable terms then they’d stop hiring flight attendants under their contracts.

The flight attendants didn’t give in, so what British Airways did is start hiring “mixed fleet” flight attendants, which operate select shorthaul and longhaul flights. They’re paid significantly less, typically stay at worse hotels, and have shorter turnarounds (typically only one night).

Continue Reading »

American’s Flight Attendant Union Wants A Full Uniform Recall


In September American Airlines rolled out new uniforms for their 70,000+ employees.

While uniforms in and of themselves won’t change the customer experience, symbolically they represented the “new American” becoming one, since previously American and US Airways flight attendants wore different uniforms. Furthermore, the new uniforms seemed to be a real point of pride for many employees.

Well, unfortunately within a week of the uniforms being released, more than 400 American flight attendants complained to the airline and union about having broken out in hives and experiencing itching and headaches. During my flights with American over the past two months, I’ve probably seen a total of a dozen flight attendants wearing the old uniforms, presumably due to this issue.

Continue Reading »

Delta Pilots Are Getting A 30%+ Pay Raise


Roughly 82% of Delta’s 13,000 pilots have voted in favor of a new contract, which will see them getting a pay raise of over 30% over four years. Pilots had voted down an earlier contract, so while this one will be costly for the airline, at least they have an agreement that should lead to good management and pilot relations for a few years.

Per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, here’s how the deal is structured:

They’ll get an additional 3 percent raise in 2017, followed by another 3 percent raise in 2018 and a 4 percent raise in 2019.

Continue Reading »

An End Is Finally In Sight For The Lufthansa Pilot Strike!


Today Lufthansa’s pilots are striking for the sixth day since last week, which has led to about 4,500 flights being canceled, and over 500,000 passengers being inconvenienced. Up until now there has been no end in sight for the strike, as the pilots have been unwilling to sit down with management until they come back with a better starting offer.

Lufthansa pilots wanted a retroactive pay raise dating back to 2012. While management was willing to negotiate, they weren’t willing to meet the conditions that the pilots wanted in order to even begin negotiations.

So I’ve been wondering which side would give in:

Continue Reading »

Lufthansa Pilots Are Going Back On Strike This Week!

Lufthansa-First-Class-Lounge-Frankfurt - 43

This past week has been a rough one for Lufthansa, as their pilots went on strike for four days (on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday), causing hundreds of thousands of passengers to have their travels disrupted.

The pilots have been unwilling to sit down with management to discuss terms further until management comes back with a better starting offer, though neither side is budging. The strike wasn’t extended to Sunday, so I was a bit confused by what was going on. Surely the pilots aren’t simply going to give up without having accomplished anything.

I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the strike has now been extended. Per the Lufthansa travel information page, Lufthansa pilots will go back on strike this Tuesday and Wednesday, November 29-30. This strike will impact shorthaul flights on Tuesday, and both shorthaul and longhaul flights on Wednesday (ouch!). In the next day or so Lufthansa should post the planned schedules for these dates.

Continue Reading »

The Lufthansa Pilot Strike Lives On: Day 4


Well, it looks like no end is in sight for Lufthansa’s pilot strike.

Initially Lufthansa’s pilots union announced a one day strike, which was supposed to take place on Wednesday. Then it was extended until Thursday. Then the union announced a strike for Lufthansa’s shorthaul flights for Friday (today)… and it’s still not over.

Lufthansa’s pilot strike has now been extended through Saturday, November 26, 2016, and this time around it will impact longhaul routes from Germany.

Continue Reading »

The Lufthansa Pilot Strike Continues: Day 3


Lufthansa’s pilots have been on strike for the past two days (and really for the past several years of their careers, it feels like). Initially the strike was just supposed to be on Wednesday, but then they extended it through Thursday. This strike impacted nearly 2,000 flights, including both shorthaul and longhaul routes.

I guess the pilots were shocked to find out that this strike didn’t accomplish anything (just like the past dozen strikes they’ve had), so they’re extending the strike by yet another day. Lufthansa has now announced that the strike will continue on November 25, 2016, and it will impact all continental routes from Germany. So the good news is that longhaul flights aren’t impacted, though the bad news is that a majority of shorthaul flights seem to be impacted.

Per Lufthansa’s announcement:

Continue Reading »

Ouch: Lufthansa’s Pilot Strike Extended By Another Day


Yesterday I wrote about how Lufthansa’s pilots were going on their bajillionth strike, causing nearly 1,000 flights and 100,000 passengers to be impacted. The strike is active today, lasting from 12:01AM to 11:59PM, with a majority of Lufthansa flights impacted by the strike.

I suppose Lufthansa’s pilot union was shocked to find out that the strike didn’t work (who would have guessed, since they’ve had over a dozen strikes in the past couple of years that accomplished nothing?), so they’ve extended the strike by yet another day, throughout all of November 24. Per Lufthansa’s travel information website:

“Strike of the Pilots union ‘Vereinigung Cockpit’ (VC) for Lufthansa flights from Germany on all continental and intercontinental routes between 23 November 2016 00:01 and 24 November 23:29 German local time.”

Continue Reading »

Lufthansa Will Cancel Nearly 1,000 Flights Tomorrow Due To Pilot Strike


It’s a day ending in “y,” which means a European airline will go on strike tomorrow.

In this case it’s Lufthansa’s pilot union that’s striking, from 12:01AM to 11:59PM on Wednesday, November 23, 2016.

This strike will cause ~900 Lufthansa flights tomorrow to be canceled, including longhaul and shorthaul flights. This includes 51 cancelations of intercontinental flights, and nearly 100,000 passengers being affected.

Continue Reading »

Cathay Pacific’s U.S. Based Flight Attendants Want To Unionize


Cathay Pacific has foreign flight attendant bases, including some in the U.S. Actually, they’re the only Asian airline I know of to have U.S. based flight attendants.

I’ve flown with Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco based Cathay Pacific crews. In some cases flights are entirely staffed by U.S. based crews, while in other cases they mix the staffing on a flight, and have crews that are part U.S. based and part Hong Kong based.

In my experience, in general U.S. based crews are more informal and fun, while Hong Kong based crews tend to be a bit more proper and poised. However, sometimes it’s tough to tell the difference between flight attendants based on where they’re based, since it’s not like the U.S. based flight attendants are exclusively American, and it’s not like the Hong Kong based flight attendnats are exclusively from there.

Continue Reading »

United Flight Attendants Finally Vote In Favor Of A New Contract


While the merger between Continental and United was closed in 2010, up until now the ex-United and ex-Continental flight attendants have still been on different contracts. This means that they’ve had separate pay scales, different work rules, different planes, etc. As far as the flight attendants are concerned, there are still two different airlines.

In theory one of the benefits of a merger is the additional synergies of having a larger airline, though part of that has been lost due to these contract issues. For example, the airline can only assign certain flight attendants to certain planes, they don’t have as much negotiating power with layover hotels since the contracts are different, etc.

Just to give an example of how ridiculous this all is, in April it was reported that a 787 was “accidentally” delivered to the Continental side rather than the United side, so the airline reached a $3 million settlement with ex-United flight attendants, since they unjustly had the plane taken away from them.

Management and the unions have been working on a new contract for a long time, though they’ve been getting stuck. Both the Continental and United contracts had relative advantages, and both sides wanted to maintain those advantages while getting more.

Continue Reading »

Air France Cabin Crew Are Starting A Week-Long Strike


It’s a day that ends in “y,” which means European aviation is experiencing a major strike.

This time around it’s the Air France cabin crew on strike, and it’s expected to last a week. The dispute is over their new contract, which is supposed to kick in as of November 2016.

Air France flight attendants will be on strike from July 27 through August 2, 2016.

You can find the full details of Air France’s strike on this webpage, which will be updated with the most up to date flight cancellation details. Here’s how Air France describes the strike as of now:

Continue Reading »

Here’s Why China Airlines Flight Attendants Are Going On Strike For The First Time Ever


It looks like I flew China Airlines just in time, as their flight attendants are going on strike for the first time ever on Friday. According to airlineroute.net, all China Airlines flights departing Taipei between 6AM and 10PM on Friday, June 24, 2016, will be canceled. Flight attendants in Taiwan have apparently never gone on strike, so this is pretty huge news.

96% of flight attendants voted in favor of the strike, so this is a huge development. Here’s the cause of the strike, according to Focus Taiwan News Channel:

“The dispute arose after CAL unilaterally decided that, starting in June, its flight attendants must report for duty at the nation’s main airport in Taoyuan, instead of at Songshan Airport in Taipei. For many flight attendants, it means fewer logged work hours and therefore less time for rest.

The strike is currently planned for the peak summer travel season.”

Continue Reading »