American Airlines recently announced its intent to offer higher pay and bonuses for employees that work during the peak holiday periods. The airliner is expected to offer higher pay of up to about 300%. While only eligible employees will be able to receive this higher pay, this is the latest move by the airliner as they work to be fully staffed during the peak holiday season.
According to American Airlines, employees that work from November 23 to November 29, and from December 22 to January 2, will receive a 150% pay increase. Meanwhile, if employees do not have any absences between November 15 and January 2, they will receive a 300% pay increase during this time. Perfect attendance during this time will also allow employees to receive a $1,000 bonus.
The airliner — as well as all other airline companies in the United States and elsewhere in the world — are anticipating the busiest time of the year during the holiday season. Now that the United States has lifted major international traveling restrictions, enacted when the pandemic first began in 2020, many analysts are expecting a surge in travel bookings.
This latest move also comes amid mass American Airline flight cancellations. Many airlines have struggled with bad weather conditions limiting an already smaller crew of employees. During the holiday season, mass cancellations would be detrimental to the company. Already, the company is planning on hiring about 4,000 new employees during the fourth quarter. Team members that were previously furloughed are also returning to full-time working, helping to bring more workers to the large airline companies.
About 1,800 flight attendants returned to work, from leave, in November alone. About 800 are expected to return to work in December.
When the pandemic first began in 2020, American Airlines and many other airline companies in the United States were hit hard. Because of COVID-19 concerns and many shutdowns in various cities, Americans weren’t traveling. Restrictions on international flights also kept many visitors from coming to the United States from elsewhere in the world. Now that COVID cases have once again fallen, and now that international flight restrictions have also gone away, analysts are expected travel bookings to surge during the holiday season.
The end of the year has always been one of, if not the, busiest times for air travel in the United States as people flock to return home or travel for the holidays. Now that COVID-19 cases have now fallen for the past few weeks, it is expected that books will only continue to rise, not fall. Vaccination rates have also increased, which has helped travel companies.
Of course, the country has also been struggling to arise out of a labor shortage. Nationwide, employers are struggling to find workers. Airliners have also struggled, though pay increases and bonuses may help these companies find the accurate amount of workers. Previously, American Airlines, as well as other airliners, have had to cancel a mass amount of flights because of bad weather and labor shortages. The focus on pay increases and hiring new workers could help American Airlines from having to cancel a lot of flights, even if there is bad weather, this winter season.