Committed to Safety. Service. You.
Across the country, Americans are booking tickets, packing their bags and heading to the airport for vacations, family reunions, weddings and long-awaited business trips. Every day, more than two million passengers are clearing security, boarding planes and taking off.
It is hard to believe that just two years ago, that number was less than 100,000. During the pandemic, air travel dropped 97 percent to levels not seen since the 1950s — the dawn of the jet age.
Today, the industry is hard at work to restore service, improve operational reliability and provide a safe, seamless journey for travelers.
Safety is always the highest priority for the U.S. airline industry. Air travel is the safest mode of transportation in the world — and we are working every day to keep it that way.
U.S. airlines are in routine communication with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to address shared operational challenges – including inclement weather. The National Airspace System (NAS) conditions are dynamic, which is why pilots, flight dispatchers and air traffic controllers all work together to constantly monitor and update operations based on a range of conditions along the planned route of flight.
In the first six months of 2022, 61% of the cancellations were caused by weather and the NAS collectively, as our nation experienced unprecedented weather events and an increase in commercial space launches.
We acknowledge that delays and cancellations may be frustrating, but our planes will not fly if it’s not safe. We will never compromise on safety.
Airlines are investing heavily in improvements to communications with passengers. For example, carrier’s mobile apps are the most effective and efficient way for an airline to provide prompt travel updates to a passenger or for a traveler to make changes to travel plans.
We understand that when passengers purchase a ticket, they expect to get to their destination safely and on time. Carriers are working diligently to make changes in how we operate to serve the traveling public to the best of our ability.
Carriers are proactively reducing their schedules to improve operational reliability. Our industry is unique, as schedules are set months in advance, and airlines are constantly evaluating to optimize safety, performance and smooth operations.
Over the summer, airlines proactively cut capacity by 16 percent. Flight schedules for September and October are already down by 15 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels, and carriers are reducing September flights by an additional five percent.
Airlines are adjusting to new employment realities, recognizing that there will be higher number of employee callouts due to Covid cases and fewer employees willing to work over-time. This is why U.S. airlines have launched aggressive hiring campaigns – establishing new pilot training academies, supporting programs to address financial hurdles, and enhancing recruitment initiatives — to hire for positions across the industry.
We are pleased that these efforts have been highly effective. The latest Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) data shows that U.S. airline employment has reached an all-time high. And, in June, A4A passenger carriers were staffed with 10 percent more pilots per block hour compared to pre-pandemic.
Our industry is proud to offer well-paying, quality jobs across the country and around the globe. For more information about airline jobs and hiring initiatives, visit www.airlines.org/jobs.
Airlines recognize the importance providing the highest levels of customer service from ticket purchase to touchdown. Carriers are listening to passengers and implementing changes — from travel policies to new technologies — to enhance the travel experience.
A4A passenger carriers have made significant updates to their travel policies to increase flexibility for the traveling public, such as eliminating change fees for domestic flights or waiving the expiration date for travel credits.
According to A4A’s annual survey, more than 80 percent of passengers without checked baggage utilized mobile check-in, and more than 60 percent of passengers used their mobile device to board the aircraft.
Carriers are responding to these consumer preferences by significantly enhancing and expanding mobile capabilities to include gate information, flight status, baggage tracking, automatic rebooking and more.