Saturday, July 13, 2024

Airlines Got $50 Billion in Pandemic Relief — But It’s Still Ruining Americans


If you’ve traveled recently, or tried, you’ve probably gone something like this: Your 1pm flight became a 5pm flight and it became a midnight flight before it was briefly canceled. No explanation was provided. The following flights are already fully booked, but they have a middle seat with two stops leaving next week if that still works for you.

We’ve taken on a lot of airlines. Food on planes is now limited to crackers and a glass of soda. We pay exorbitant amounts for checked baggage. Only some people can bring a handbag on board. We pay to choose our seat. By the way, the seat is designed for a person who weighs 4 feet 8 inches and 95 pounds. They tortured us in many ways.

We handled it because they got us from point A to point B quickly and safely. Sometimes it was cheap. We accepted the constant reduction of service because they had something we wanted and only they could deliver. But the airlines are not making ends meet. We miss meetings, events, family time and more because they can’t do their work together.

According to FlightAware, a website that tracks flight cancellations and delays, there were 1,629 delays and 631 cancellations “within, within or outside the US” on Sunday alone. This was only by noon. Cancellation and delay become more likely As the day progresses.

Why do these frequent delays occur? Airlines report high demand after the pandemic. That may be true, but people are enthusiastically booking seats on flights that allegedly exist only for not having them when it’s time to travel. This is not a request error.

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Airlines continued to require employees to be vaccinated in order to work.
AFP/Charlie Niebergal

Airlines have an abundance of other reasons. that they blaming “Staff shortage at the Federal Aviation Administration.” that they Point Finger in “weather” or “unscheduled absences among employees.”

Then there is a shortage of pilots. Why is there a shortage of pilots, the average traveler screams in the void. In one of the dumbest moves possible, pilots were encouraged to retire early to avoid layoffs during the pandemic.

But it is precisely here that airlines’ poor performance becomes a bigger deal than a company’s failure to provide high-quality service to the customer. Over the past two years, airlines have received more than $50 billion in pandemic relief money. our money. Congress has tried to demand answers about how this money is spent, but just like all other things, they haven’t been able to come up with any clear answers.

The money was intended to preserve jobs and save the industry. Pilots should never be encouraged to leave work, which is very important for the entire aircraft. Instead, the industry was in shambles, so were the employees They were fired anyway And the money is gone.

Some airlines have continued to require their employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine until 2022 despite the staffing crunch. Any employee with a vaccine exemption has been placed on paid leave, which appears to be a poor use of taxpayer money, even airlines finally gave in. No one was expelled without an exemption. It didn’t make sense, and we’re all paying for it now.

Transportation Minister Pete Buttigieg His private flight was recently canceled and he had to drive from Washington to New York. Now he says his division could force airlines to hire more staff. This may work in some roles, But the pilots are not, Ahem, transport secretaries. They must have actual experience and know what they are doing. Buttigieg had no prior transfer experience prior to being chosen for this role. A pilot can’t fake it exactly the same until he makes it.

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Perhaps the real lesson here is that the federal government should stop distributing free cash without restrictions even in times of crisis. Hopefully here every elected official whose flight was delayed by two or six hours or eventually canceled will remember that they gave the industry the money to treat us this way. Then let’s hope they don’t do it again.

Twitter: Karol

Rosario Tejeda
Rosario Tejeda
"Infuriatingly humble analyst. Bacon maven. Proud food specialist. Certified reader. Avid writer. Zombie advocate. Incurable problem solver."