CHO US Airways Strike

Folk musician and noted union activist John McCutcheon just gave me a call from the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport. He tells me that the US Airways flight attendants are picketing, and intend to go on strike in eleven days. The Association of Flight Attendants have been negotiating with Piedmont Airlines (a corporation wholly owned by US Airways, serving the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport) for 15 months in an attempt to even up their pay and work hours with US Airways flight attendants. The AFA has been warning that strikes are possible anytime after 12:01am on September 16th. Piedmont Airlines provides the bulk of the flights in and out of CHO, including the daily nonstop runs to Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Philadelphia and New York. A strike would likely severely cripple CHO’s ability to function. For more information, see the AFA’s recent press release.

6 thoughts on “CHO US Airways Strike”

  1. Uhhh… I flew from CHO once and I never even noticed the flight attendant. She just sort of sat at the front of the plane. I’m sure they could continue to operate without flight attendants.

    Yes, I can stand up and get my own beverages.

    I’m a big boy :)

  2. Except that I believe it is a federal law (via the FAA) that someone has to explain safety procedures to passengers before they take flight. The pilot and co-pilot are too busy preparing the plane for flight to do this, and the only other crew members on those little planes are the flight attendants. So if the attendant is gone, the airline will have to get very creative in order to continue flights, and they haven’t done so with past attendant strikes.

  3. I think so, at least on smaller aircraft. If you fly out of here on one of the micro airliners (such as the Colgan Air flight to LaGuardia on a Beechcraft 1900C, which is actually a fun flight), there are definitely no flight attendants, and there are only 19 seats. There’s probably a passenger count threshold involved here.

    Also, even on larger commercial aircraft, they’re now using those video safety presentations in many cases. The flight attendants still sometimes stand there and go through the motions, but nobody really watches them (of course, nobody really watches the video, either).

  4. I checked the FARs, and here’s what they had to say:

    135.107 Flight attendant crewmember requirement

    No certificate holder may operate an aircraft that has a passenger seating configuration, excluding any pilot seat, of more than 19 unless there is a flight attendant crewmember on board the aircraft.

    So far as I know, USAir’s service to KCHO is entirely on Dash-8’s, which have more than 19 seats (United Express flies some of the smaller aircraft, which do not in fact have flight attendants), so this would effectively shut down their service.


  5. Ah…that would explain the 19-seat capacity common on so many commuter aircraft.

    Thanks for the research!

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