Release #: DAL 22.03
June 16, 2022
Delta Pilots Share Frustration with Customers for Flight Disruptions
Informational Picket Planned for Delta’s Annual Shareholders Meeting
NEW YORK—Reiterating its concern that Delta Air Lines is scheduling more flights than it has the staff to operate, the Delta pilots’ union, in an open letter, is reaching out to Delta customers letting them know the airline’s pilots share their frustration about ongoing operational issues. The pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), will also conduct informational picketing at the Delta annual shareholders meeting on June 16 in New York.
“This is the first time in our history that we’ve published an open letter to customers,” said Delta ALPA Master Executive Council (MEC) chairman Capt. Jason Ambrosi. “The Delta pilots take great pride in getting our passengers to their destinations safely and on time. It’s disheartening to see customers waiting in long lines to rebook flights due to scheduling issues that could have been prevented.”
Over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, Delta cancelled more flights than any other major airline, citing staffing, weather, and Air Traffic Control issues. The union has been cautioning Delta for months that it must exercise restraint when adding back flights. “It gives us no pleasure to tell management, ‘We told you so,’” said Ambrosi. “Pilots are mission-oriented and want to deliver industry-leading operational performance. We’ve picked up record amounts of overtime to help Delta during the recovery.”
The Delta pilots are currently in negotiations for a comprehensive new collective bargaining agreement. The last contract was signed in 2016. “We’ll be picketing at the annual shareholders meeting to send a clear message that it’s time to put customers first and protect the Delta brand. Additionally, it’s also time for management to get serious at the bargaining table about recognizing the Delta pilots’ frontline leadership and contributions to Delta’s recovery as load factors bounce back to pre-COVID levels,” added Ambrosi.
OPEN LETTER TO CUSTOMERS
To our valued customers:
The Delta pilots take pride in the reliability and the service that defines Delta Air Lines. We are disheartened when we witness the impact of your disrupted travel plans. As you travel with us this summer and beyond, we ask you to please remember the following:
- Delta pilots will continue to prioritize safety—every day and on every flight.
- We have been working on our days off, flying a record amount of overtime to help you get to your destination. At the current rate, by this fall, our pilots will have flown more overtime in 2022 than in the entirety of 2018 and 2019 combined, our busiest years to date.
- We empathize and share in your frustration over the delays, cancellations, and disrupted travel plans you’ve experienced. We agree—it is unacceptable.
As we welcome you aboard, we will continue to go above and beyond to ensure the integrity of the operation. Delta management needs to do the same before you lose confidence in the Delta brand.
—The Pilots of Delta Air Lines
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents more than 64,000 pilots at 39 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at alpa.org or follow us on Twitter @ALPAPilots.
CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or Media@alpa.org