Wednesday, July 16, 2008

US Airways Pilots say airline is pressuring them to carry less fuel


The US Airline Pilots Association (USAPA) placed a paid advertisement in the USA Today newspaper today, p A5, “A Message to Our Valued Passengers From the US Airways Pilots.” The large-print message says that the airline has been pressuring pilots to reduce fuel levels. There are minimum requirements and standard practices, allowing for additional stops or for extra time in holding patterns. The announcement complains that pilots who do not comply will be subject to “training events.” Pilots claim that they can be fired if they do not go along with the "training."

The press release is at this URL. I didn’t see the exact ad on the union’s website, at the paper, or elsewhere. The visitor would need to purchase the paper or see it in a library to see the entire ad.

"CNN Money" ’s story is here.

The pressure to reduce fuel weight is part of a desperate trend by airlines to cut weight, by charging even for first bags, charging for meals, eliminating movies, etc.

USAir has a statement on its website asking the public to ask Congress to reign in on oil speculators, as has the airline industry as a whole, here, by referring to a “stopoilspeculaiton” link already discussed. Critics are saying that all the airlines could have locked in the price of oil two years ago the way Southwest did, and the airlines are trying to interfere with the “free market.”

“Larry King Live” on CNN covered this problem tonight.

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