Delta Pilots Picket To Demand Better Pay And Working Conditions

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Delta Pilots Picket To Demand Better Pay And Working Conditions
Airline executives are meeting Thursday with the FAA over a recent rise in cancellations and delays.

Delta Air Lines pilots are picketing coast to coast. 

"We need action, not words. All of our pilots are working under pay rates and work rules that were negotiated over six and a half years ago," said Laura Woods, a Delta Air Lines Pilot. 

As a post-COVID travel surge strains, the remaining staff at airlines that let many of their pilots and flight attendants go in money-saving efforts as the virus spread. 

"If you're traveling for the Fourth of July, expect things to be chaotic and try to hedge your bets," said Willis Orlando, with Scott's Cheap Flights. 

Now as a holiday weekend packs airports full of eager travelers many are finding hiccups, and a fragile airline ecosystem that is struggling to keep up. 

"Prices have gone through the roof, but we're still looking at traveler numbers that will be approaching where they were in 2019," Orlando said. 

Airline executives are meeting Thursday with the FAA over a recent rise in cancellations and delays. The FAA is also dealing with a shortage of air traffic controllers and the airlines starting to shift some blame. 

But here at Los Angeles International, Delta pilots are joining a chorus of colleagues all over the country who are demanding better pay, fewer flying hours, and putting the blame for their fatigue squarely at the feet of their employer. 

"Quite simply, they are overscheduling us. They are offering more flights than we have pilots to fly them," Woods said.  

"We feel our passengers' frustrations with delays and cancellations. In fact, our pilots have picked up a record amount of overtime. We're trying to get our passengers to their destinations safely and efficiently. It's up to the company," Woods said.  

It's a bad time for a Delta family spat, as travelers hit the roads and skies for the July Fourth holiday.