Airline Pilots Strike: Don’t Panic Yet!

American Airlines pilots just voted to strike, Southwest pilots are likely to follow suit according to various news reports.  If you have travel plans coming up soon, expect to see pilot picket lines at major airports.

But that said, “voting to strike” is not the same as “not showing up to work.”  These days, at least in airline pilot negotiations, it has increasingly become standard union practice to encourage a vote to strike.

Why all the public drama?

Because a public strike brings massive public attention and news headlines to union-airlines negotiations, thereby turning up the heat for resolution in the unions’ favor.

Bottom line

Yes, pilot strikes are concerning as you approach travel dates, and it never hurts to have a travel back-up plan in your proverbial back pocket, but at this point don’t overly stress out or cancel trips because the vote to strike is more sabre-rattling than anything else, according to those most familiar with airlines negotiations.

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