With a website and an online ad campaign, the pilots say tough working conditions could hamper holiday deliveries, but Amazon says it’s confident in its ability to serve customers.

Share story

Cargo pilots seeking a better deal from air-freighter companies contracted by Amazon are reaching out directly to the e-commerce giant’s customers with their grievances.

With a website and an online ad campaign in Google and Facebook, the union representing the pilots warns Amazon customers that tough working conditions could affect deliveries during the busy holiday shopping season.

It’s a move by the Airline Professionals Association, Teamsters Local 1224, to draw these shoppers to prime their cause. Earlier, the union took their case to Amazon executives in hopes they would pressure Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings and Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) to hire more pilots and increase their pay.

Amazon has leased 20 planes from each of these companies in order to ship items between its far-flung warehouses. It’s an effort that’s dubbed Prime Air.

But that effort is still ramping up. Atlas is flying only one plane for Amazon currently, one of its pilots recently told The Seattle Times; ATSG is further along, with 14 aircraft flying for Prime Air, the union said when that company’s pilots launched a brief strike before Thanksgiving.

Amazon downplays any possibility of Santa’s bringing gifts late because of the pilots’ woes.

“Several weeks ago, we rebalanced capacity across our network of carrier partners to ensure there are no disruptions through the busy holiday season, and this rebalancing remains in effect. We are confident in our ability to serve customers,” spokeswoman Kelly Cheeseman said in a statement.