Airlines raise staff pay to keep planes flying
Several US airline companies announced a significant increase in onboard staff payment in an effort to keep the planes flying after a week of cancelations.
Spirit Airlines offered flight attendants double pay for working this holiday week, Reuters reported, citing the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA.
“All flight attendants, regardless of how you have obtained your pairing, will be receiving 200% pay for any pairing that touches December 28 through January 4,” the union, which represents about 4,000 flight attendants at the Florida-based carrier, said in a statement.
United Airlines will pay 3.5 times the standard for pilots who fly extra trips between December 30 and January 3, and triple for flights between January 4 and January 29, according to an NBC report citing a staff note.
The note was signed by flight operations executive Bryan Quigley, who called the offer “significant,” and represents an effort “to do everything we can to take care of our customers during this challenging time.” According to another unnamed official at United, “most pilots have room in their schedules to pick up extra trips, and this gives them additional compensation if they choose to do that.”
This holiday season has been challenging, with thousands of flights either delayed or canceled due to the spread of the highly transmissible Covid-19 Omicron variant. Since December 23, United, Delta Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and other US carriers have canceled over 10,000 flights combined, according to CNBC. Around 1,600 flights into and out of the US were canceled on Friday alone, according to tracking site FlightAware. The airlines say poor weather conditions and a spike in sick calls from employees are to blame.
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