American Airlines melted down at the end of October without enough cabin crew to work flight. This followed a meltdown in June caused by not having enough Boeing 737 pilots. United Airlines sent an email to all its customers throwing shade at them, and suggesting they book United for the holidays.
In order to prevent a repeat of the October flight attendant debacle, American Airlines is throwing money at the problem (err, at the flight attendants).
Lineholders will receive 150% pay (100% credit, 50% pay no credit) for sequences (greater of scheduled or actual time flown) that the Lineholder actually flies on any day during the following Holiday Peak Periods:
- November 23, 2021, through November 29, 2021, and
- December 22, 2021, through January 2, 2022.
Lineholders and Reserves with a schedule who have no absences/removals from November 15 through January 2, 2022, will receive an additional 150% pay, for a total of 300% pay (100% pay and credit, 200% pay no credit) for time flown (including standby) on any day during the Holiday Peak Periods (November 23-November 29, and December 22-January 2).
In addition, and in some ways this may be the most important piece for reliability, American will give crew confirmed space to fly to the start of their trips. Too many flights have been cancelled due to lack of crew because the crew couldn’t fly to their assigned trip on American Airlines – often because trips get changed at the last minute, and crew were standing by for flights after nonrevs were already cleared onto planes for leisure.
Taking up revenue seats to fly employees during peak holiday periods, where flights typically sell out, is expensive of course but cancelling flights is also expensive.
For sequences that originate during the Holiday Peak Day Period, the Company will provide inbound Positive Space (A12) travel on American Airlines mainline, PSA, Piedmont, and Envoy, to Commuters scheduled to fly a sequence/standby shift from the Commuter’s home to the Commuter’s Base for the purpose of operating the awarded/assigned sequence or standby shift.
Additionally, you may request positive space travel for your first and/or last scheduled Reserve Availability Period (RAP) in your reserve block that begins or ends within a Holiday Peak Period.
These moves should help deliver a reliable operation by incentivizing crew to pick up extra shifts, not to call out sick for shifts when they might prefer not to work, and making it possible to reach their trips in the first place.
Other work groups receive premium pay for the holidays, too – this is going to be expensive.
It also underscores just how poorly American has managed its workforce, and didn’t ‘keep everyone on staff and ready to fly once customers returned’ and they rebuilt their schedules, which was the point of the $10 billion in direct taxpayer money they were given. At least now, I suppose, their spending a little bit ore of that Payroll Support 2 and 3 cash on incremental staffing (since most of the money went to payroll costs they’d have incurred anyway, effectively subsidizing shareholders and creditors).