General Business

American Airways jacks up flight attendant vacation pay to keep away from extra flight cancellations

An American airline Airbus A321-200 approaches Washington Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Arlington, Virginia on February 24, 2021.

Daniel Slim | AFP | Getty Images

American Airlines, shocked by Bulk cancellations last weekend offered flight attendants three times their salary for work-holiday trips, even if they are perfectly staffed by the beginning of January.

The offer comes just days after American canceled hundreds of flights last weekend and earlier this week, many of them related to flight attendant staff shortages. The added incentives show Americans are willing to pay to avoid recurrence.

American said flight attendants and reserve cabin crew members who go on business trips between November 23 and November 29 or December 22 through January 2 will be given one and a half time, according to an internal memo verified by CNBC. If you do not have any absences from November 15 to January 2, you will receive an additional 150% of the remuneration for these main travel times.

“The past few months, and last week in particular, have been challenging,” wrote Brady Byrnes, vice president of flight service to flight attendants.

“With Mother Nature devastating the operations, the myriad policy changes you had to keep up with, and an increase in incidents of customer misconduct, you are dealing with a lot,” added Byrnes, referring to an increase in recalcitrant travelers, including an alleged attack on a flight attendant by a passenger last week.

Airlines spent much of the last year pushing their employees to take vacations or accept takeovers.
When travel demand recovered in late spring and summer, some airlines did not have enough staff to cover routine disruptions such as bad weather. Southwest Airlines offered flight attendants double pay to get more people to pick up their shifts on the weekend of July 4th.