There is more bad news coming out of the Alaska Airlines camp. While the pilots spend the month of May voting to go on strike, the company prepares for the storm. Now that the vote is underway, the CEO apologizes for the inevitable future delays ahead of time.
Alaska Airlines CEO ‘Deeply Sorry’ for Future Delays
CEO of Alaska Airlines, Ben Minicucci, addressed the glaring problem his company faces with a message to his employees. He additionally delivered a follow-up video message describing the staffing shortage that created the problem. He also spoke about management taking full responsibility and planning to rectify the issue.
“Of the 1,200 flights that we operate every day, we’ve been canceling about 50 of them, roughly 4%. This is coming at a time when flights are already full, so rebooking options are limited, and many of our guests have experienced extraordinarily long hold times,” the CEO wrote.
The message to the employees states that the company began April with 63 fewer pilots than usual. He says that management failed to recognize this shortage until it was too late. They are pivoting their priority to centralized scheduling and focusing on recruiting, hiring, and training staff to fill the need.
“I’m deeply sorry,” he said in the video follow-up. “I hear every day from friends, neighbors, and guests about how disruptive our flight cancellations have been.”
Customers Feeling the Impact
With 4%, or 50 total flights, canceled every day, there is a large number of displaced travelers.
Those travelers received little help from the airline in finding alternative ways to their destination. Travelers reaching out to Alaska are greeted with customer service phone lines citing hold times of up to 10 hours.
It’s safe to say that Alaska Airlines is already feeling the effects regardless of how the vote pans out. At least 4% of their customers may have suffered enough inconvenience to be gone for good.