What impacts of the Delta vs. Pilots contract fight could mean for flyers. More CRJ200s?

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The Delta MEC Chairman Mike Donatelli will resign. This is shocking, “hash tag” #SaidNoOne after the basic vote of no confidence to the Delta proposed contract that was rejected by 65% of Delta pilots.

My place is not to wade into the debate about what kind of deal the pilots should get, but what I will talk about is the possible impacts on us as flyers as they hammer out a new contract. What do I expect to see? First the real war of words.

What I expect will be lots of really NASTY bits tossed back and forth in the media. I expect Delta CORP to try to scare the flying public by painting the pilots demands as bad for those who fly Delta and contributing to the risk of flight interruptions. But there could be more real potential pain for those of us flying Delta a bunch and who HATE the 50 seat CRJ200’s.

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Notice a non-confirmed quoted from the outgoing Delta MEC Chairman Mike Donatelli from a pilots web board that says:

“I’ve had a conversation RA [Richard Anderson], the Company is going to their plan B and exercise their option of another 30 76-seaters. They are going to refurbish many 50-seaters.”

Again, a non-confirmed quote, but if true it would not shock me one bit. The idea that Delta could even consider refurbishing CRJ200s makes me almost physically ill. Gosh, I hate them. I have even driven to other airports around my area just to avoid them and worked my schedule to fly out of SBN for the one flight a day (now and then now service) that had a CRJ7/9 service with business class seats and more room in coach. Again, if true, really bad news for us as flyers, but even just using this threat as leverage makes me mad at Delta!

Also on that pilots board others commented that there may not be enough pilots to fly more 50 seat jets brought back into service from the desert. Interesting.

What else do I expect from Delta? To me all you have to do is look at what Delta has done with SkyMiles as a guide. The Delta “culture” right now is one that they can do no wrong. They have the last word. You will take what they give you and spin it like something good even if it is outrageous and frankly “bat crazy”. Delta land is a very strange place right now folks!

I really hate the idea that Delta may take the fight public and maybe even try to paint the pilots request as unreasonable and to try to turn the public against the pilots efforts. If this happens, I will not fall for that kind of Delta PR spin. I know better.

Could all of this lead to strikes or work slow downs by Delta pilots? Maybe, but that is way too premature to talk about. I do think both of these events could happen. Bottom line is I am prepared for the turbulence ahead while the two “work” this all out over the next many months. This will be interesting to watch and I hope, from both sides, the impacts to Delta flyers is minimal. – René


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  1. Question is who do you fly if not Delta? United is horrible and American is pitiful…maybe Southwest or JetBlue for domestic travel?

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