“I am so frustrated with the delay, but more so with the way they treat people at the airport,” she said. “I don’t know if I will use United again.”
Its exasperation was similar to what Southwest Airlines passengers felt during the winter holidays, when the company suffered a much larger operational meltdown. Southwest canceled more than 10,000 flights in the four days after Christmas, or about 46 percent of its schedule. On United’s worst day this week, Tuesday, it canceled nearly 800 flights, or about 28 percent of its schedule that day.
The turbulence left pilots and flight attendants frustrated, too. Many had to wait hours for reassignment after flights were cancelled. And according to social media posts, some flight attendants slept at airports as well.
“The weather last weekend affected everyone, but United is the only airline still struggling to recover and we know why,” said Ken Diaz, president of the United Chapter of the Flight Attendants Association-CWA, which represents more than 25,000 United flight attendants. . in a statement on Thursday. “United management’s failure to map crew scheduling, flight attendant support staff, and more has exacerbated these operational issues and left passengers and flight attendants waiting for answers for hours at a time.”
Diaz said United had “lost” crews in its system for several days due to the crash. He also said the union had warned management last year of problems that could contribute to further disruptions, but that the airline had “launched” an ambitious flight schedule this summer. Mr Diaz said United used some of the union’s recommendations to get around the current disruption, including making changes to its schedule and agreeing to pay flight attendants three times their usual wages for picking up flights through July 6.
The pilots expressed similar frustrations.
“It is United Airlines management that is failing our loyal customers by ignoring warning signs and failing to plan properly,” said Capt. Garth Thompson, president of the United Airlines Pilots Association chapter, which represents more than 15,000 airlines. the pilots said in a statement.