Summer strike threat looms at Frontier Airlines; pilots say it's a last resort

Frontier and its pilots face ongoing dispute

DENVER -- The labor dispute between the pilots and Frontier Airlines has been a three-year saga. The pilots' union has asked the national mediation board to declare an impasse, clearing the way for a 30-day cooling off period.

A strike would only occur after that window has lapsed.

Yet the Frontier pilots, who maintain they’re paid 40 percent less than their peers, stress that a strike is a last resort.

"We feel what the company has been asking for, in terms of further concessions on top of the $50-$60 million of concessions that we gave to keep this airline in business in 2011, is enough and we have not been acknowledged for our contribution to the success of the company,” said Alan Christie, Frontier's representative for the Air Line Pilots Association.

Pilots also contend that the airline’s aggressive growth plans are taking place without enough staff, making a disruption more noticeable to flyers.

“The current level of pilots that they have makes it very difficult to cover the schedule they have should there be any of the slightest interruptions. On a day-to-day basis the passengers probably won't notice much, but when it's your flight that's affected, it feels like the whole system has gone down."

Frontier Airlines spokesman Jonathan Freed provided the following statement to Denver7 concerning the labor woes: "We continue to be actively engaged in negotiations with our pilots for a new contract and continue to exchange proposals under the guidance of the National Mediation Board. We look forward to working toward an agreement that is fair, sustainable, and provides security for our collective future."

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