Local News

American's Passengers Happy -- For Now

Posted February 16, 1997 12:00 a.m. EST

— Sixty days may well pass in the twinkling of an eye, but for today, American Airlines' passengers around the world are happy. Happy there is no strike, that their travel plans can go forward.

It was estimated that a strike would have cost American $30 million a day, and the ensuing ripple effect would have cost the country as a whole from $100 million to $200 million per day.

President Clinton's directive was activated 24 minutes into the pilots' walkout.

At Raleigh-Durham International Airport, passenger Winfield Payne told WRAL-TV5 News that as a rule he prefers that the government not get involved in disputes between labor and management.

Many other passengers, however, were just thankful to be able to get on board.

But the ban on the pilots' walkout ends in 60 days, and unless issues of pay and staffing are resolved, passengers and American's employees will go through all the uncertainty again.

Pilot Scott McKinney said from his point of view, the company has been letting the issues drag on for two years.

To woo passengers back to their airline, American's management is offering half price fares on many U.S. and international flights for tickets purchased by March 3.