ALPA

Leadership From the Cockpit

 Special guest commentary by F/O Karen Lacy (DAL)

Like most airline pilots, aviation is in my blood. My paternal grandparents had their private pilots’ licenses, and my dad has his private pilot license and was a PATCO air traffic controller. Looking back, there wasn’t a time when I wasn’t interested in flying. I went to college for aviation, but I started shortly before 9/11 so the job market was pretty bleak when I graduated. I tried several nonflying jobs, but nothing felt “right” until I started flight instructing in my spare time. Before too long, I took the plunge and began my career at a U.S. regional carrier. After a several years, I was hired by a major U.S. airline, and I was thrilled to finally be at my dream job.

But now that dream job is turning into a nightmare. The impact of COVID-19 has created an unprecedented crisis for many of our nation’s industries, but airlines have been hit exceptionally hard.

Being an airline pilot is more than just a job. I met my husband while working, and I had my first baby while we were pilots. What I do for a living makes up so much of who I am. And today, I know that on October 1 I will be out of a job.

Categories: Industry


Time is running out. It’s absolutely critical that lawmakers and the White House return to the table and extend relief for hundreds of thousands of pilots, flight attendants, and other aviation workers who face potential furlough as a result of the COVID-19 economic downturn. 

Unless Congress acts to provide a financial backstop when the CARES Act Payroll Support Program expires on October 1, pilots and other airline employees will be forced to empty their savings, drain their retirement, delay seeking health care, and sacrifice their children’s future.

Categories: Advocacy
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For millions of Americans, the devastating public health economic impacts of COVID-19 continue to take their toll. But for workers in the aviation industry, things are about to get much worse – unless Congress and the White House act. As our industry tries to navigate through the most difficult period in aviation history, airline executives have already acknowledged that mass layoffs are inevitable. To date, more than 11,000 ALPA pilots have received notices of potential furlough. Without an extension to the CARES Act Payroll Support Program, which expires on September 30, these pilots could lose their jobs and health care benefits and the ripple effect across the entire economy could threaten the jobs of hundreds of thousands of other aviation workers.

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More than 11,000 airline pilots represented by ALPA have received notice of potential furlough, and without a clean extension of the CARES Act Payroll Support Program, hundreds of thousands of employees are at risk of losing their jobs and health insurance benefits on October 1, 2020. But ALPA is not alone in calling on Congress for help.

Categories: Advocacy


Airline passengers and airline workers have a tremendous stake in whether Congress recognizes the vital importance of the U.S. airline industry and its workers to the recovery of the U.S. economy. As a flyer, you can help save hundreds of thousands of jobs—and the U.S. airline industry—by urging Congress to extend the CARES Act Payroll Support Program, which expires on October 1.

Categories: Advocacy
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