Thousands of passengers throughout the nation had their flights canceled or delayed final week — changing into one other line merchandise on the checklist of travel meltdowns to make headlines this 12 months. Whereas storm methods have been the wrongdoer for the newest hiccups, Newark Liberty Worldwide Airport alerts additionally cited staffing.
“Two issues may be true on the similar time,” mentioned Sara Nelson, worldwide president of the Affiliation of Flight Attendants-CWA.
Unhealthy climate can have a snowball impact, inflicting logistics mayhem. Flight crews get held up on the tarmac, unable to work their subsequent flight on time. Nelson argues airline staffing fashions don’t present sufficient give within the system to accommodate such issues easily.
“You may’t lose one particular person,” she mentioned. “It’s stretched very skinny so there are simply fewer staff responding to buyer wants and calls for and dealing with the problems.”
When mass delays and cancellations happen, livid and confused vacationers vent on Twitter, questioning why staffing issues have been impacting their flights. Based on the most recent air travel consumer report from the Division of Transportation, there was a 35 p.c enhance in service complaints from Might to June, and complaints are practically 270 p.c above pre-pandemic ranges.