Since 2020, airlines have received more than $50 billion in bailouts from the federal government. This stemmed from COVID and the various hits that airlines took when travel came to a temporary halt.
Fast forward to present day and the demand for travel has significantly increased. Yet, in spite of this, airlines are still notoriously understaffed, so much so that they’re regularly delaying and/or canceling thousands of flights.
This has disrupted the schedules and plans of countless travelers. In the worst case scenarios, they’ve missed connecting flights and ended up stranded at airports.
Now, various legislators are seeking to find out exactly how airlines managed the bailout money they received from the federal government, as documented by Newsmax.
Getting to the Bottom of Current Travel Interruptions
Democrats on the House of Representatives Oversight Committee are raising questions about whether airlines used bailouts to pay for early retirements and buyouts of pilots.
If they did, this would be an issue, considering the conditions of the bailout money were that airlines were not to use the funds to furlough or terminate staffers.
Two House Democrats have asked a Treasury Department watchdog to investigate whether airlines used a portion of a federal coronavirus relief package to pay for staff buyouts during the pandemic, which has now caused severe staffing shortages 👇https://t.co/8ZdSP4LwEW
— Airline Passengers for Justice (@APforJustice) September 9, 2022
According to the House of Representatives Oversight Committee, lawmakers want direct and precise accounting information that shows how airlines used the bailout funds to stay afloat and keep their operations running.
The problem with pilot shortages is so serious that airlines are limiting their service options in certain communities and even having a hard time getting new pilots hired and ready to work.
Public Frustration With Airlines
As some people might imagine, airlines have incurred the wrath of the public for the consistent disruptions in flight service.
Certain folks are even accusing these companies of intentionally releasing travel schedules they know they can’t live up to, thus prompting delays and cancellations.
Of course, the one elephant in the room here is the COVID vaccine mandate that airlines previously put into effect. Some workers who refused to get this vaccine were let go.
— CNN (@CNN) September 1, 2022
With all the issues airlines are having today, there’s no doubt they could benefit from more hands on deck. This, too, generated public backlash, with Americans stating had airlines not let unvaccinated workers go, a lot fewer delays and cancellations would be happening.
Many Americans would be curious to know how airlines used the billions in federal bailouts that were handed to them. To this day, flight service is collectively worse than it was pre-COVID and there’s no telling when this will change.
Would you like to learn how airlines managed the bailout money they received from the federal government amid COVID? In the comments area, we invite you to let us know your thoughts on this issue and what you think should happen to return air travel to its former glory.
This article appeared in Watch Dog News and has been published here with permission.