Allegiant Air Pilot Letter to Passengers
Dear Allegiant Air Passengers,
We are writing to make you aware of a number of concerns that we, as pilots, have with Allegiant Air. The fact is we are uncomfortable remaining silent about company practices that negatively impact our customers’ travel and vacation, including your comfort, and – most importantly – your safety.
Thanks to your business, Allegiant Air is the most profitable airline in the industry and has had 48 consecutive profitable quarters. That’s why it’s so hard for us to understand why company executives are driving a race to the bottom in service, safety standards and treatment for veteran pilots. There is simply no reason why we – you or I – should accept flying an airline that is content with just barely meeting acceptable safety standards.
If you’ve had problems with Allegiant, you are not alone. The company’s record delays and cancellations have led Allegiant to have the second-highest customer complaint rate out of any U.S. commercial airline. Meanwhile, the fleet is plagued by persistent mechanical problems due to poor equipment and the company’s unwillingness to invest in its operation or its workforce, as attested by the numerous FAA safety investigations, aircraft groundings, and training program closures.
While our CEO and largest shareholder has taken home tens of millions of dollars in dividends in the past few years, the company has refused to reinvest returns into our infrastructure, our operation or the workforce. The company’s profits are propped up by the extra workload placed on its understaffed, underpaid and overworked workforce and its minimalist approach to maintenance and safety.
With Allegiant making millions in profits each year, our customers and our families should not be put at risk by a company that is content to just barely meet safety standards – a mindset that results in the delays and cancellations you experience when you fly with us.
Allegiant represents the worst in an economy today where greedy CEOs disregard needed investments into a company’s workforce and infrastructure at the expense of passenger safety and for the benefit of Wall Street.
Pilots at Allegiant Air are speaking out because our passengers’ safety is our top priority, and we know that investments in the company’s infrastructure, fleet, pilots and mechanics are needed to ensure its long-term success.
Unfortunately – rather than respond to our concerns – Allegiant’s executives have led a protracted legal battle to avoid a federal court order directing them to restore benefits and working conditions that the company illegally took from us. Allegiant has rolled back our benefits and job protections, including ending our loss of medical coverage for pilots who become ill or disabled and taking away reliable scheduling. The unreliable scheduling practices mean that some pilots are away from home for months at a time – one pilot, for example, was held away from home for nine months. Imagine the toll that spending months on the road away from home takes on our families. Beyond the impact that it has had on our personal lives, Allegiant Air has taken away our ability to serve as valuable members of important safety committees as recommended by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and this reduces the overall safety of our operation.
After Allegiant decided earlier this year to ignore a federal court ruling ordering it to restore our benefits and scheduling back to prior levels, we voted to authorize a strike if it became necessary.
We are workers, just like you. It is our hope that Allegiant Air will take the necessary steps to provide a safe, stable, equitable, workplace for us – and thereby a safe airline for you. We hope you will join us in standing up to a corporation that has such disregard for its employees, customers, and the law.
In the meantime, we will continue to speak out to protect travelers and our pilots from being taken advantage of by a company consumed with a dangerous approach to its safety standards, customer protection and employees.
The Pilots Flying for Allegiant Air