MEA Pilots STILL on Strike

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The MEA pilots are still on strike even though the strike was supposed to end yesterday. My wife went to the airport today and turns out her flight out of Beirut Airport was canceled and she was stranded there along with hundreds of other passengers. I managed to book her on a Jazeera Airways flight back to Kuwait but I have no idea if MEA will refund her ticket or not.

I didn’t have a problem when the pilots were delaying all the flights by two hours. I actually was effected by their strike and they had my full support on it. But completely canceling flights that’s a completely different thing. While a two hour delay is a hassle, canceling flights is a life changer. It has a much bigger effect on everyone. Imagine you’re on vacation somewhere around the world and your flight back to your home has been canceled. I’ve never been in that situation and I hope I would never have to. They had a lot of support from passengers and people when they were delaying flights by two hours but by canceling all the flights I believe they’ve lost all the support they had including mine. I was with the pilots before, but I’m not anymore.

Note: It’s interesting that I couldn’t find any news on this strike neither on Naharnet nor Daily Star.

11 thoughts on “MEA Pilots STILL on Strike

  1. Najib

    I heard Pilots decided to estalate things after MEA administration decided to stop paying some of them who are presumably behind the protest.

    MEA already got few replacement pilots to limit the damage. I don’t like what’s happening but I still think the administration could have come up with a compromise from the start and avoided all this chaotic situation.

    Now if pilots stop their protest, it will look as if they lost.

  2. Najib

    Not to forgot we are already in December and it’s one of the busiest months at the Hariri airport. So if both parties stay at their positions, it’s gonna cost us millions of dollars in daily losses.

  3. choura2yak

    i Don’t know if the pilot got his rights or not yet, but i think that the Lebanese Central Bank who owns most of the MEA Shares should interfere and solve this issue. There is a law in this country and it should be applied!
    I think that while the whole region is experiencing bad moments, we should benefit from this since we are still having a stable situation and our national carrier should also benefit and find ways to increase instead of canceling flights!
    I would support the Pilots if the Pilot in cases didn’t get what he should get.And i would urge the central bank to fix the issue, i think the cost of solving this issue would be much more less that what we paid yesterday for the STL so let us do it and move in towards rebuilding our economy!

  4. beirut drive-by

    I too went to the airport this am thinking that the strike was over and my MEA flight would take-off. Taxi there, taxi back. In spite of this being a major inconvenience, i support the pilots on this one. MEA really looks heartless in this case. It was the dedication of their employees through the bad days that kept the airline alive to see these days of growth and profits. I spoke to a long-time MEA employee today who said she feels the office furniture means more to MEA than she does. MEA needs to make some concessions and then work on their employee relations and public relations. Consumer complaints against them were mounting before this happened. Their planes don’t fly alone.

  5. M

    Hello Mark,
    Does it affect all flights operated by MEA? Can we know in advance which flights will be canceled? The lack of media coverage is really weird!

  6. Nat

    I have to disagree with Mark on this one. Besides my ordeal I still support the pilots and I hope they eventually get their demands which i think are quite reasonable. On the other hand MEA really needs to train their ground staff on how to deal with people in such situations since they were all mostly very unhelpful, rude and unprofessional. They were also extremely understaffed and unprepared to handle the wave of stranded passengers even though MEA was aware of the strike ahead of time.

  7. Ronman

    My mom got to the airport two days ago on a flight to dxb to find her flight canceled, some time later MEA ground crew got her on the Emirates flight over and she arrived 2 hours and some behind her original time of arrival.

    let me clear something, i hate MEA, I despise everything they represent, the arrogance, crappy service, high prices, and the worst customer experience i have ever experienced on any airline.

    MEA used to be one of the Chic! airlines, it sounds stupid but it used to be true. that got a big knock during the war but they had a glimmer of hope until Mr Hout started chasing nothing but profits. customer complaints are never listened to, and improving the service has been stalled for at least a decade. and now this.

    as much as i hate this airline, i must say the pilots have the upper hand. true Salame from the central bank is backing the MEA Board, but he has no other chance. if the ruler of the central bank goes with the employees it would be then end of the road for him.

    now Hout is adamant on docking these guy’s pays or firing them “by the law” that’s the same exact law he abused when he pulled a fast one on the Cancer stricken pilot. the Law is the red line, and Hout/MEA crossed it once by offering the guy a settlement that is not to the letter. The pilots are right, because if MEA does it once it would do it again…

    i hope that after this strike, the MEA ground crew would take a moment of their time to clean their aircraft as they are the filthiest planes in the world…!

  8. rampurple

    I disagree with Mark on this one as well. This is exactly what the pilots should be doing.

    They got your attention, they got MEA’s attention. We’re talking about it.

    We should actually be supporting the pilots and boycotting MEA.


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