Airlines received $ 50 billion in pandemic relief – but still operate with Americans

If you have recently flown, or tried, it may have gone something like this: The flight at. 13:00 was a flight at. 17:00 was a midnight flight before it was canceled. No explanation is given. The next flights out are already fully booked, but they have a middle seat with two stopovers next week if that still works for you.

We have endured so much from the airlines. Food on planes is now limited to biscuits and a glass of soda. We pay exorbitant amounts to check our luggage. Only people are allowed to bring hand luggage on the plane. We pay to choose a seat. A seat, by the way, designed for someone who is 4’8 “and 95 pounds. They have tortured us in a number of ways.

We tackled it because they got us from point A to point B quickly and safely. Sometimes it was even cheap. We still accepted the downgrade of the service because they had something we wanted that only they could deliver. But the airlines do not hold on to the end of the deal. We miss meetings, events, family time and more because they just can not get along.

According to FlightAware, a website that tracks flight cancellations and delays, there were 1,629 delays and 631 cancellations “inside, into or outside the United States” just Sunday. This was only at noon. Cancellations and delays become more likely as the day progresses.

Why do these frequent delays occur? Airlines state that demand for the pandemic is high. That’s probably true, but people are excited about booking seats on flights that are supposed to exist, just so they don’t exist when it’s time to travel. It’s not the fault of demand.

Airlines continued to require employees to be vaccinated in order to work.
AP / Charlie Neibergall

Airlines have an abundance for other reasons. They are blaming the “understaffing of the Federal Aviation Administration.” They point to “weather” or “unplanned absence among employees”.

Then there is the pilot shortage. Why should there be a lack of pilots, shouts the average flyer into the void. In one of the dumbest moves, pilots were encouraged to withdraw early to avoid being laid off during the pandemic.

But this is exactly where the poor performance of the airlines becomes a bigger issue than just a company that fails to deliver quality service to the customer. Over the past two years, airlines have received more than $ 50 billion in pandemic assistance. Our money. Congress has tried to demand answers about how the money was spent, but just like all their other boondoggles, they could not come up with any clear answers.

The money was intended to preserve jobs and save an industry. Pilots, who are quite important for the entire migration, should never have been encouraged to quit their jobs. Instead, the industry is disintegrating, employees were laid off anyway and the money is gone.

Some airlines are constantly demanding that employees receive the covid-19 vaccine well into 2022, despite the employment crisis. Every employee with vaccine exemption was put on paid leave, which seems like a poor use of taxpayers’ dollars, until the airlines finally gave in. Everyone without a dispensation was fired. It did not make sense, and we are all paying for it now.

Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg recently had his own plane canceled and was forced to drive from Washington to New York. Now he says his department could force airlines to hire more employees. It may work for some roles, but pilots are not, ahem, transport secretaries. In fact, they need to have experience and know what they are doing. Buttigieg had no previous transport experience before being selected for this role. A pilot can not falsify it in the same way until they succeed.

Perhaps the real lesson here is that the federal government should stop distributing free money without ties even in times of crisis. We hope all elected officials whose flights are delayed by two hours, six hours or eventually canceled remember that they gave this industry the money to treat us this way. And then we hope they do not do it again.

Twitter: @Karol