Delta, which can go hundreds of days at a time without cancelling a flight, cancelled hundreds of flights in days over the Thanksgiving holiday.
They added a number of flights for the holidays after the period where crew are assigned to flights, and wound up without enough pilots. It’s unclear why Delta wasn’t about to match pilots to flights voluntarily with overtime, or by taking pilots off of future trips (and paying overtime to replace them).
As JonNYC points out Delta blames Covid-19, offering “We didn’t expect the effects of a sharp increase in capacity in the last part of the month to be compounded by rising number of positive COVID cases and quarantine requirements among pilots and other factors.”
This from John Laughter, DL SVP & chief of operations pic.twitter.com/W0MWqotpYQ
— JonNYC (@xJonNYC) December 1, 2020
The ‘and other factors’ is doing most of the work here. They do not explain the airline’s myriad failures which drove their operational meltdown, lumping them together instead under this catch-all.
No other airline suffered similar challenges over the holiday weekend. And while some pilots may have tested positive and others may have been exposed, especially related to the airline’s training center, using Covid as an excuse seems a bit like a request for a ‘get out of jail free’ card instead of taking responsibility for failing.