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This new Delta change will make air travel better for everyone

Delta Airlines makes the first move to address the pilot shortage

We’ve all seen the meme about how much the starting hourly rate is for a pilot these days, making all of us want to apply for fun. And we all watched those TikToks during the holidays about the abysmal time anyone had trying to fly Southwest. But unfortunately, the pilot shortage is still a real issue that is causing delays and cancellations all over. While other airlines are still trying to figure out what to do about the shortage, Delta is making the first move to address the issue.

Two pilots flying a plane.

What other airlines suggested

What’s really scary is what some other airlines have suggested to keep flights in the air. While we understand desperate times call for desperate measures, the safety of humans flying 32,000 feet in the air isn’t where we should cut corners.

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  • Ask Congress to amend ​part 121 of the Federal Aviation Regulations.

This is about the Federal regulation that requires every flight to have two pilots on board as the standard. More than one airline wants to be able to fly with only one on board to fill the gap and keep the planes in the air. Yikes to that.

  • Reducing the number of hours of experience a pilot needs before they can fly.

This is in line with the teacher shortage solution. Some states have gotten rid of the college requirement to be able to teach in the classroom. The FAA rejected Republic Airways’ proposal to reduce the mandatory number of flight hours to become a commercial pilot from 1,500 hours to 750 hours. And while Southwest Airlines still requires 1,500 hours per FAA rules, it has reduced the number of hours new pilots need to fly turbine-powered aircrafts from 1,000 to 500.

The direction some of these airlines want to go is fewer pilots on board with less experience. Let’s book those flights today!

A busy airport with people getting in line at check in.

Delta’s answer

Three of the largest airlines want to hire over 8,000 pilots in the next year. How are they going to do that during a shortage? Delta has an idea, and they are the first to try it out.

  • Over four years, pilots will receive a 34% pay rate increase.

With what you probably got for your annual raise this year (if you got one) that’s a nice draw for Delta to attract the top talent.

  • The approval rating from the Delta pilot union was 78%.

With Delta being the first airline to strike the deal with the union, they’ll get first pick of the top talent, as other airlines like Southwest, American, and United are still negotiating.

The only downside to that is when big companies like Delta take the good pilots, where does that leave the little guy who can’t afford those rates? That is something we’ll see play out in the coming years.

Usually, when one large company does something that wins the approval of the masses, the rest will topple and follow suit. And like teachers, pilots have a pretty important job that requires proper training and compensation.

Let’s hope Delta’s sign of good faith to address the pilot shortage makes the others fall in line, so we all get where we want to go this holiday season with as little crying as possible.

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