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Over 1,000 Flight Attendants Finally Win a Pay Rise at Allegiant Airlines, the Controversial Low-Cost Carrier

Over 1,000 Flight Attendants Finally Win a Pay Rise at Allegiant Airlines, the Controversial Low-Cost Carrier

Over 1,000 Flight Attendants Finally Win a Pay Rise at Allegiant Airlines, the Controversial Low-Cost Carrier

Las Vegas-based, low-cost carrier Allegiant Airlines is unlikely to ever win any awards for passenger satisfaction.  Plagued by malfunctioning aircraft and a patchy maintenance record, passengers often find their flights delayed, cancelled or even diverted.  The airline only scores a pultry three stars on the Tripadvisor.

But at least Allegiant’s budget-conscious passengers should at least find the airline’s flights attendants with more of an upbeat mood in the coming weeks.  Following six years of negotiations, the airline has finally reached a tentative collective bargaining agreement with the Transport Workers Union (TWU) who represent Allegiant’s 1,150 flight attendants.

The flight attendants, who have been otherwise working without a formal contract, are set to receive a pay raise which could amount to 33% in some cases, according to the TWU.  Allegiant has also agreed to increase the per diem, improve sick leave and increase the number of vacation days given to flight attendants.

The TWU has also pointed out that it has secured an agreement from Allegiant to improve health, safety and scheduling practices.  While the airline has never had a major accident, many aviation experts predict the airline is “an accident waiting to happen.”

In June 2016, pilots at the airline accused Allegiant of overworking flight crew, leading to fatigue.  The President of the Allied Pilots Association was reported as saying that “past performance is not necessarily a predictor of future results.”  He even claimed, “Almost half of the pilots said they will not allow their own families to fly on the aircraft.”

The TWU union has been negotiating with Allegiant since 2011. The agreement still has to be ratified by workers with a final decision expected by the end of December. Photo Credit: TWU
The TWU union has been negotiating with Allegiant since 2011. The agreement still has to be ratified by workers with a final decision expected by the end of December. Photo Credit: TWU

A report by ABC News last year found that Allegiant aircraft had to be diverted at least 54 times in 2016.  The FAA has previously criticised the work of the maintenance contractor Allegiant hired to repair its aircraft but has stopped short of taking formal action.

“We have an amazing community of flight attendants who work hard every day, as safety professionals and at the heart of service for every passenger who flies with us,” commented Tracy Tulle, Allegiant vice president of in-flight services.

The airline’s chief executive, Maury Gallagher said the agreement would “begin an exciting new chapter of growth for our in-flight team and for the company as a whole.”

Gallagher continued: “We’re very pleased to have come to an agreement with the TWU and our flight attendants, a great achievement for everyone who dedicated many hours at the negotiating table.”

Allegiant was founded in 1997 and now serves 122 destinations across the United States as well as Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean.  The airline operates an ageing fleet of 40 MD-80 aircraft but also operates a fleet of Airbus A319 and A320 planes.  The airline intends to phase out the MD-80’S by 2019.


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