United’s Scott Kirby, after much rosy talk from airline CEOs, said this week that business travel is plateauing.
One possible explanation is that companies are stabilising their workforce sizes.
The stability, though, may be welcome if you’re planning a trip. For individuals who just need a place to sit and relax, more seats have been added.
However, even when everyone involved has the best of intentions, mishaps may and do occur. So, I have to warn you about possible airsickness.
You see, American Airlines pilots are debating whether or not to cause minor delays in flights. Or maybe even a great deal.
The answer is no; they never explicitly state that. Yet it appears that they are worried about something in particular and think that the best approach to deal with it is to do things at a more leisurely pace.
The problem at hand is a screening procedure termed “Known Crewmember.” The possibility exists that you have witnessed it in action. Pilots and flight attendants are exempt from the same level of personal examination as the general public while passing through airport security.
Some airline workers, however, have been suspected of abusing their supposedly greater degree of freedom to engage in criminal activity. It’s like, drug smuggling and stuff. As a result, the TSA purportedly conducts far more secondary screenings to ensure there is no hint of criminal activity.
Sicher: “I recommend using the standard passenger entry points for security screening when beginning and connecting on our sequences. For those who choose to do so, please do NOT jump in front of passengers who may also be harried and late due to the unpredictable nature of the TSA checkpoints.”
Pilots are unhappy, according to Ed Sicher, head of the organisation representing American Airlines pilots.
Some say he proposed: “A pilot may be ‘randomly’ screened as many as seven times in a row. The rise in the frequency of these tests has resulted in unforeseen and in some cases long delays in the formerly swift screening process at KCM.”
Sicher said that supervisors want planes turned back promptly, but that delays can occur if pilots are delayed in secondary inspections.
It would appear that the pilots’ plan of action is to, uh, cause even more delays.
When given a second look, though, Sicher suggests the following: “We hope that by temporarily avoiding the KCM Crewmember screening checks, we will draw attention from the TSA and administration to the issues that have emerged with the system. I will be the first to encourage our pilots to use KCM once it has been repaired to the point where it is once again a predictable form of expedient security screening. Until then, you may want to think about using the standard TSA screenings and joining the rest of our passengers in the queue.”
I’m worried you’ve arrived, and that you won’t make it to your destination in time.
We may expect flight delays if pilots have to wait in the same security lines as the rest of us.
At present, airline pilots everywhere are putting pressure on their superiors. For instance, Delta’s pilots have recently threatened a strike in the event that a new contract is not reached. The airline just so happened to announce a pay boost for their pilots of more than 30% last week.
The sabre rattling of American Airlines’ pilots could just get things resolved quickly. Maybe passengers may never have to rally behind their pilots again. Perhaps things will go swimmingly.
But it all creates a sleazy vibe that makes clients nervous about what may happen next.
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