NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Air travel is predicted to reach the peak of the pandemic this weekend of July 4.
The question: will there be enough pilots to fly the planes? That’s why Piedmont and Envoy, both subsidiaries of American Airlines, confirm that they’re offering pilots a triple reward on their days off in July.
A spokesperson for Piedmont said: “It’s a tool we have in our toolbox and we use it where necessary, but this is not a new program for Piedmont. There are a handful of days in July when we will be offering triple premium payments to our pilots. ”
An Envoy spokesperson said: “Envoy has had an extraordinary completion rate for the month of June. As part of its proactive strategy to maintain a reliable schedule during the peak summer season, Envoy is offering pilots a triple fee for picking up uncovered trips on their days off during the month of July. This is only offered when open travel is available, and currently Envoy is fully covered with its flight schedule this summer.”
The move came as cancellations and delays skyrocketed this summer — and when American Airlines announced it was shutting down service to three cities due to pilot shortages.
dr. Erin Chernak, a UTA professor and researcher in aviation psychology, said the industry has known for years that a pilot shortage lurks. And then came the pandemic.
“So the idea of having to triple pilot payments for these short terms makes sense as a temporary solution,” said Dr. chernak.
But she said it is not sustainable, not only for financial reasons, but also for safety.
“So when you ask pilots, and you really strongly encourage them, to push a little harder to do a little more in my mind, there’s always this concern of, ‘Are we over-stimulating and convincing? people to possibly take on more services than they should?’ †
Chernak also said it is likely to contribute to rising flight costs. But for many travelers, increasing reliability is a long-awaited investment.
“When it comes to business, you don’t want to be late. You often have tight schedules. Same when you go on vacation. You don’t want to be left behind and kids aren’t allowed to go to Disney,” said passenger John Pinkstone.
“I have to get where I’m going. There’s nothing worse than a canceled flight and an overnight trip, whatever that may be, that was unexpected,” said passenger Craig Brown.