Friday, March 27, 2009

AirTran Airways Unfairly Suspends Pilot for Dropping Children Off at Circus While in Uniform

RJ Note: Gotta wonder how many working parents either pick up their children or drop them off while wearing the clothes they work in. Should we start to worry when a parent in military uniform goes to the schools? Or wearing the waitress outfit?

This suspension appears to be a little overkill on the part of the airline. Would the airline have done this if he stopped to fill his car up with gas or to grab a fast bite to eat? Now, if the pilot had been seen cruising around the bar scene and making a very bad impression of the industry or his employer, then I would applaud.

That reminds me, anybody recall the days when airline employees would stand out at Friday afternoon happy hours due to their uniforms? Seems like that used to be a common occurence in the days of Hotlanta.

/PRNewswire / -- The Board of Directors of the National Pilots Association (NPA), which represents the nearly 1,700 pilots of AirTran Airways, strongly condemns the wrongful suspension of one of their pilots, and asks the public to join them in demanding that he be reinstated immediately and paid in full.

AirTran Vice President Steve Kolski called NPA President, First Officer Linden Hillman last week to inform him that management's position is that the pilot was in violation of AirTran's flight operations manual and would face possible discipline for wearing his uniform while dropping off his wife and two young children at a circus in Atlanta on February 21, 2009. The NPA sponsored a family day at the circus, and the pilot was on his way to work when he stopped at Philips Arena to help his wife with their kids.

"He was wearing his uniform so that he could get to work on time," said First Officer Tim Baker, spokesman for the NPA. "The circus started at 3 p.m., and he had to be at work at 4:30 p.m. He was leaving on a four day trip and wanted to spend as much time with the kids as possible. He will soon be deployed overseas and is focused on spending time with his family. He only stayed at the circus for a few minutes. The rules even state that he can wear his uniform to and from work."

The AirTran pilot in question is a pilot in the Air Force Reserves, where he has served for thirteen years.

NPA President Hillman said, "It is intolerable for our pilots to be exposed to this type of intimidation. We have tried to resolve this issue directly with management. However, we continue to find management unreasonable. It would be nice to see management focused on returning to profitability, instead of threatening their hardworking crewmembers. You don't see other airlines treating their employees like this."

Fayette Front Page
Georgia Front Page


scottnearsmf said...

Other airlines don't to the best of our knowledge. With Southwest recently completing its bargining with its Flight Attendents and Pilots, it should be interesting to see what language is in their new contract as it pertains to in-unifrom conduct away from the airport.

Scott near SMF said...

Airtran refers to the circus as a "non-work NPA union-sponsored event". I didn't know unions sponsored circuses?