Holiday travel: Delta and United pilots could strike before the holidays

Delta and United could ruin your Christmas.
delta airlines plane on tarmac

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Just when we thought things were getting better.

Delta pilots have overwhelmingly voted to enact strike action if progress is not made in their quest for a new contract. According to reports, 99% of the carrier’s pilots voted to authorize “union leaders to call a strike,” hoping to acquire their first pay raise since 2019.

Just one day after Delta pilots’ decision, United Airlines pilots rejected a contract deal of their own, setting the stage for another potential work stoppage with another one of the nation’s top carriers. 

Could this affect holiday travel?

Anyone flying in the immediate future can breathe a sigh of relief, as a number of legal protocols mean that a strike can’t happen within the next thirty days. It is completely possible the strike won’t happen at all, and legal representatives do seem confident that new contracts can be agreed upon.

All of this is to say that the potential strikes are unlikely to impact Thanksgiving travel. However, the Christmas holidays could, in theory, be affected.

The US hasn’t been hit by a pilot walkout since 2010, but several airlines in Europe have already seen strikes operations to a temporary halt. Alaska Airlines pilots voted in a similar fashion earlier this year, but walkouts were averted thanks to new contract agreements.

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