Airline Offers Pay Incentives After Weekend of Cancellations

Staffers can pick up extra money for sticking it out through the holidays
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2021 4:35 PM CST
Airline Offers Pay Incentives After Weekend of Cancellations
File photo of an American Airlines flight attendant handing out snack bags aboard a Boeing 737 Max jet .   (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

American Airlines is throwing money at the problem. The problem, canceled flights, is due in part to labor shortages. So, with the holiday travel season looming, the company is offering a cash incentive to stick around and work through until the new year. Flight attendants will earn 150% of their normal rate during peak periods, and those who show up for every flight between Nov. 15 and Jan. 2 will have their pay tripled for those peak periods, the Wall Street Journal reports. Vice President of Flight Services Brady Byrnes sent a memo to staffers Friday acknowledging that flight attendants have had a lot to deal with lately. “From mother nature wreaking havoc on the operation, the myriad of policy changes you’ve had to keep up with and an increase in incidents of customer misconduct, you’ve been dealing with a lot,” he wrote.

The airline isn’t doing this just out of the goodness of its heart—it had help from the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, which negotiated the extra pay. The peak periods fall Nov. 23-29 and Dec. 22-Jan. 2, CNBC reports. Flight attendants aren't the only ones eligible for the incentives—other work groups can get them, too. American Airlines isn’t the only one struggling with staffing—with travel demand bottomed out during pandemic lockdowns, many airlines sent employees home on leave or with buyouts. Southwest canceled almost 1,800 flights last month for murky reasons. (More American Airlines stories.)

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