The commercial passenger aviation industry continues to recover from the retraction caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the expected increase in demand for the upcoming holiday season is widely expected to push already strained airlines. Many carriers in the United States have struggled to stay fully operational over the past few months. American Airlines is increasing pay over the holiday period as well as adding other incentives to encourage flight attendants to work and avoid cancellations.
American Airlines have been cancelling flights since June citing labor shortages. Other carriers in the U.S. have had similar issues, such as Southwest and Spirit. Most recently, American cancelled over 2,000 flights over Halloween weekend. To avoid the potential of nationwide chaos that could be caused by a mass cancellation event during the holiday season, American had decided to take action to assure that it has as much staff as the airline can muster.
American Airlines worked with its flight attendants union to ensure the attendance of the company’s employees. The airline is raising pay by 150% for flight attendants scheduled to work during two designated periods within the holiday season coinciding with Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. The first period begins on November 23rd and ends on November 29th. The second period begins December 22nd and ends January 2nd. Employees held on reserve for standby shifts will also receive the same increase.
American Airlines will also give an attendance bonus of an additional 150% pay to all flight attendants who have no absences from November 15th until January 2nd. Those who take scheduled vacation during this period will remain eligible for the aforementioned bonus, which will be paid out to employees after the period. Hopefully, higher pay will be enough to avoid airports full of stranded passengers this holiday season.