Allegiant Air: Court orders pilots not to strike

FILE - In this Thursday, May 9, 2013, file photo, an Allegiant Air jetliner flies by the Luxor Resort & Casino after taking off from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Allegiant Air has obtained a court order that should prevent a planned strike of its pilots.

A Wednesday evening release from Allegiant said the airline received a temporary restraining order to stop the strike that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 1224, the union that represents the pilots, said earlier in the day could start as early as Thursday.

An Allegiant pilot speaking for the Teamsters said in a statement that pilots will comply with the order issued by the U.S. District Court.

The Teamsters had timed the strike to cause maximum disruption to spring break travel. Allegiant said it would have left potentially thousands of travelers with canceled flights. Following the court order, the airline said that “all scheduled Allegiant flights are expected to operate normally.”

“With the threat of an imminent strike over, Allegiant hopes that both parties can now focus on the next federally mediated negotiating session, scheduled for late April,” the airline said in its statement.

The pilots say the airline has reduced their benefits and that its scheduling system is “exhausting.” In January, 98 percent of Allegiant pilots voted to authorize a strike.

The full statement from Allegiant pilot Corey Berger:

“Allegiant Air executives are pocketing millions while reducing benefits for pilots. The deterioration of the scheduling system alone is keeping pilots from seeing their families and many facing exhaustion. Striking is not an easy decision; it is a last resort, and because Allegiant executives are so unwilling to restore basic scheduling practices, we have been left no other option.”

“Although we know that our strike to restore the status quo is legal, we will comply with the judge’s decision and look forward to having our voices heard at the upcoming hearing.”

Allegiant Air has four nonstop flights from out of Gerald R. Ford International Airport: Las Vegas, Orlando-Sanford, Phoenix-Mesa and Tampa / St. Petersburg-Clearwater International.

Sue Wilson is a travel agent and owns Travel Navigator. She said travelers should always purchase travel insurance so that if something does go wrong, they’ll be covered.

“When you’re making your travel arraignments, you can always purchase travel insurance to secure that you would get your investment back in the event something like this would take place,” she said.

She also said even if you are unsure on whether flights will actually take off, you should show up at the airport.

“If you’re not for certain as to what is going to happen, you’re going to want to show up at the airport. If they were to go ahead and have flights scheduled and bring pilots in to make these flights take off, if you are not there, you would be considered a no-show,” she said.

She also encouraged people to use travel agents.

“The best thing you can do is book with a travel agent and know that they’re going to be work to protect your vacation package as best they can because of their connection,” she said. “But quite honestly, it can happen at any moment with any airline.”

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