JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Weeks away from the busiest travel season of the year, pilot unions with United, American, and Delta Airlines aren’t seeing eye to eye. United and Delta pilots are even threatening to walk off on the job.
News4JAX aviation expert Ed Booth said the main issue is better pay.
“The airlines have returned to full profitability post-pandemic and their workers want to share in on the wealth. I don’t think it’s any more complicated than that,” Booth said.
About 15,000 Delta pilots voted in favor of potentially going on strike if a new contract agreement isn’t met.
United Airlines pilots also threatened to picket. The pilot union rejected a tentative contract agreement this week and now the airline is working on a new one with better rates.
American Airlines pilots remain in contract negotiations.
“They’re not just looking for more pay their looking for better working conditions,” Booth added.
Booth said Delta Airlines makes up about half of the flights traveling in and out of Jacksonville International Airport.
A pilot strike could severely impact local travel. However, Booth doesn’t think it is likely to happen at least not for a while.
“The mechanisms built into these systems allow for a number of 30-day cooling off periods and this would place this dispute well beyond the holidays,” he said.