Hundreds of Delta Airlines pilots are planning to protest this week while the union asks for short staffing

Hundreds of off-duty Delta Airlines pilots are planning to attend this week to demand a pay rise and better schedules – as another 500 flights have been canceled today.

The Air Line Pilots Association claimed last night that their nearly 14,000 members work longer hours even though the airlines cancel thousands of trips.

Delta Airlines pilots plan to launch the pickup on Thursday at several major airports, including LAX, JFK and Atlanta, which are some of the most affected in terms of cancellations and delays.

The announcement comes amid an increase in flight cancellations and delays. By Tuesday morning, airlines had already canceled more than 500 flights and delayed another 1,200, according to FlightAware.

The average annual Delta Pilot salary in the United States is about $ 157,912, which is 119 percent above the national average, according to Indeed.

Passengers queue to check luggage before flying to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport today

Passengers queue to check luggage before flying to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport today

A man says goodbye and hugs his daughter before flying to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta today

A man says goodbye and hugs his daughter before flying to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta today

Passengers queue to check in before their flights at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia, USA June 28, 2022 as airports experience an increase in cancellations and delays

Passengers queue to check in before their flights at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia, USA June 28, 2022 as airports experience an increase in cancellations and delays

The announcement comes amid an increase in flight cancellations and delays.  By Tuesday morning, airlines had already canceled more than 500 flights and delayed another 1,200, according to FlightAware.  The picture: Atlanta today

The announcement comes amid an increase in flight cancellations and delays. By Tuesday morning, airlines had already canceled more than 500 flights and delayed another 1,200, according to FlightAware. The picture: Atlanta today

This graphic shows how many flights have been canceled in recent days at US airports

This graphic shows how many flights have been canceled in recent days at US airports

FlightAwares Misery Map shows cancellations and delays after airport June 28, 2022

FlightAwares Misery Map shows cancellations and delays after airport June 28, 2022

Pilots have complained that sparsely staffed airlines are asking them to work too many flights, with several pilots reporting fatigue.

The FAA has admitted that it is understaffed, especially in an important air traffic control center in Florida, which has meant a reduction in the quality of service and an increase in delays and cancellations.

The pilots plan to strike, not strike, the days they will not work to get attention to the problems.

Federal law creates a long and difficult process before airline workers can legally go on strike.

“Delta pilots last signed a new contract in 2016 and are currently flying under labor rules and wage rates negotiated over six years ago,” said Jason Ambrosi, a Delta pilot and union official, in the statement.

“It has been two and a half years since our contract was changed and three and a half years since the Delta pilots last had a pay rise. Meanwhile, our quality of life has eroded due to management’s unwillingness to plan the airline properly, he continued.

In June, the union took a unique step in adopting a vote of no confidence in the management teams of Flight Operations, Crew Resources and Flight Training & Standards for the planning issues that continue to plague both customers and pilots.

“As long-term stakeholders in our airline, it’s bad business to see our reliability suffer and endanger the Delta brand,” said Ambrosi.

An airport employee is directing passengers to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta today

An airport employee is directing passengers to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta today

Pilots have complained that sparsely staffed airlines are asking them to work too many flights, with several pilots reporting fatigue.  The picture: Atlanta today

Pilots have complained that sparsely staffed airlines are asking them to work too many flights, with several pilots reporting fatigue. The picture: Atlanta today

Passengers cross the street at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta today

Passengers cross the street at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta today

Passengers enter a security checkpoint before their flight at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport today

Passengers enter a security checkpoint before their flight at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport today

Federal law creates a long and difficult process before airline workers can legally go on strike.  The picture: Passengers today

Federal law creates a long and difficult process before airline workers can legally go on strike. The picture: Passengers today

The planned protest comes just before the weekend of July 4, which is expected to see 3.5 million Americans fly, according to AAA. Ambrosi says the union is “concerned that our customers’ plans will be disrupted again.”

‘The perfect storm arises. Demand is back and pilots are flying record amounts of overtime, but still see our customers stranded and their vacation plans ruined, Ambrosi said.

“When delays or cancellations occur, the pilots share in the passengers’ frustration,” he continued.

“Our goal is to achieve an industry-leading contract. But if the management does not get serious, we will go to great lengths to get the contract we deserve, “he concluded.

Delays and cancellations cost the airlines a large sum, with delays costing the airlines around $ 74 per minute, or $ 4,500 per hour.

Violating the asphalt delay rules means that airlines are charged $ 27,500 per passenger, which means that a plane with 200 passengers can cost a fine of 5.5 million dollars.

For passengers, delays can cost around $ 47 of their time. In 2018, before the pandemic, delays and cancellations cost passengers nearly $ 28 billion.

Airlines are not required by law to compensate passengers for a cancellation or delay.

Passengers have taken to social media to complain about how the delays and cancellations affected them, and many claim they are “nervous about flying.”

After the coronavirus pandemic stopped the aviation industry, pilots played an important role in getting the airlines back on track, even though their salaries have not increased since the negotiations in 2016.

U.S. consumers more than tripled the number of complaints against U.S. airlines in April, compared to pre-pandemic levels, as timely arrivals fell, according to a Department of Transportation report.

Earlier this month, Transport Minister Pete Buttigieg called a virtual meeting with CEOs of major US airlines to discuss thousands of recent cancellations and delays over Memorial Day weekend.

He urged the airlines to ensure that they can reliably serve planned summer plans.

Airlines for America, which represents the largest U.S. airlines, said Friday that they want to know the FAA’s staffing plans for the fourth weekend of July, “so we can plan accordingly.”

The comments from the industry group can serve as a preventive defense in case airlines again get thousands of canceled and delayed flights during the holiday weekend, when travel is expected to set new heights during the pandemic.

“The industry is actively and flexibly doing everything to create a positive customer experience since it is in an airline’s inherent interest to keep customers happy so that they return for future business,” said Nicholas Calio, president of the trade group, in a letter to Buttigieg.