"Crash pads" provide solution for regional airline crews

08/4/2009 | Washington Post, The

The Washington Post goes inside a capital-area "crash pad" shared by about 30 regional airline pilots and flight attendants looking for a place to rest between flights, and for those who must travel from where they live to where their job is based. The paper estimates there may be 500 to 1,000 such houses near airports all around the country, fed by the need for crews -- particularly regional airline crews -- to save money on housing. Aviation researcher Bill Swelbar of M.I.T. says low airfares have affected airlines' ability to pay competitive salaries. "When adjusted for inflation over the last 30 years, fares are down some 50-plus percent. And that just does not make for a sustainable business model. It doesn't make a model that allows them to compensate their people well, like they have in the past."

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