Southwest uses personnel additional pay, regular leaflet miles to prevent vacation travel disturbances

A luggage handler presses a bag near a Southwest Airlines aircraft at Hollywood Burbank Airport in Burbank, California, October 10, 2021.

Robyn Beck | AFP | Getty Images

Southwest Airlines on Saturday provided its flight attendants brand-new rewards focused on preventing more flight cancellations, especially over the peak vacation duration, in the middle of issues over staffing, according to an internal memo.

Southwest canceled more than 2,000 flights around Columbus Day weekend, disturbances the air provider stated expense it $75 million. American Airlines, which is likewise using flight attendants and other teams additional spend for vacation shifts, had problem with mass flight cancellations late last month and in early November also.

Flight attendants, pilots and other operations workers might get as much as 120,000 Rapid Rewards points, valued at more than $1,400. Flight attendants are qualified for working 36 days in between Nov. 15 and Jan. 14, while cabin teams who work 28 days over that duration might get 60,000 points, the note mentioned. Southwest stated that the variety of certifying shifts or days differs by work group.

The variety of no-shows or inaccessible flight attendants has actually risen just recently, Southwest’s vice president of Sonya Lacore, vice president of inflight operations, stated in her note to cabin teams, which was evaluated by CNBC. Sick calls have actually risen also when the business has actually raised emergency situation policies that needed flight attendants to reveal a medical professional’s note if calling out ill. For example, Lacore stated when the airline company last raised those treatments on Nov. 9 ill calls went from 20 an hour to 90 an hour for 2 hours in a row.

“We have a great opportunity here to uphold that commitment to them, and you, in the midst of what has been a difficult time for us all,” composed Lacore. “Our first step in addressing this, and actively working to protect the operation, was to reduce the schedule, and we believe this incentive program will take us another step in the right direction.”

The airline company is likewise using as much as triple pay to ground operations workers for working Thanksgiving and Christmas and double spend for overtime shifts in between Nov. 17 through Nov. 30 and Dec. 17 through Jan. 3, up from time-and-a-half pay.

Airlines had actually provided personnel early retirement plans and leaves of lack to cut their labor expenses throughout the pandemic however discovered themselves short-staffed when need recuperated this year. More flight attendants are going back to American and Southwest from leave, while those airline companies and others are likewise strongly employing.


News and digital media editor, writer, and communications specialist. Passionate about social justice, equity, and wellness. Covering the news, viewing it differently.

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