Anthony Gonzalez Pilots Claim US Airways Puts On Pressure To Cut Fuel

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 17: A US Airways jet is prepared for flight at Los Angles International Airport (LAX) July 17, 2008 in Los Angles, California. The US Airline Pilots Association, representing 5,200 US Airways pilots, and eight senior US Airline pilots have filed complaints with the Federal Aviation Administration, charging that the airline is pressuring pilots to use less fuel than they feel is safe. In a full-page ad that appeared in USA Today July 16, the union accused the airline of 'a program of intimidation to pressure your captain to reduce fuel loads'. Eight pilots who asked for 'an extra 10 to 15 minutes worth of fuel' were ordered to take extra training, which could jeopardize their licenses. US Airways denies that the action was punitive. Because of skyrocketing fuel prices, the airline is trying lighten their aircraft by removing movie players, using lighter meal carts, replacing glassware with plastic, and not carrying unnecessary extra fuel. The company is also cutting inefficient routes and buying more fuel-efficient jets. FAA regulations require airlines to carry enough fuel to fly at least 45 minutes beyond their intended destination. In addition, pilots are given final authority on whether their flight should have additional fuel.

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