Dec 31 (Reuters) - United Airlines and Spirit
Airlines Inc are bumping up pay for on board staff as
they scramble to keep schedules intact after U.S. airlines were
hammered by a week of mass cancellations.
While Spirit's flight attendants are receiving double pay on
any work through Jan. 4, according to their union, United is
offering triple time for pilots who pick up extra trips during
January, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.
The holiday season has been marred by delayed or canceled
flights, causing chaos at most U.S. airports as sick staff and
fear of contracting COVID-19 grow. Coupled with the prospect of
dealing with unruly passengers, many pilots and cabin crew are
even forgoing overtime incentives.
That hesitancy, combined with bad weather and tight
staffing, has led to over 8,000 flight cancellations over the
past eight days, according to flight-tracking website
"All flight attendants, regardless of how you have obtained
your pairing, will be receiving 200% pay for any pairing that
touches Dec. 28 through Jan. 4," the Association of Flight
Attendants-CWA said in a statement. The union represents about
4,000 flight attendants at Spirit Airlines, according to the
carrier's latest annual filing.
Earlier this year, Florida-based Spirit Airlines was forced
to cancel nearly 3,000 flights due to bad weather and staffing
JetBlue Airways Corp said in a customer note on
Thursday that 75% of its crew is based in the U.S. Northeast, a
region that has been hit hard by COVID-19 infections. The
carrier has already cut https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/jetblue-cuts-about-1280-flights-through-mid-january-omicron-hurdles-2021-12-30/#:~:text=Dec%2030%20%20-%20JetBlue,airline%20told%20Reuters%20on%20Thursday
its schedule through Jan. 13 by about 1,280 flights.
Alaska Air Group Inc said while the pandemic had hit
its operations, the vast majority of cancellations and delays
were due to bad weather.
The airline last week agreed to offer some benefits such as
instituting pay protections in case of any reassignments on
Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day, the AFA said.
Hawaiian Airlines said it had not offered new incentives to
its crew for working during the holiday period.
SkyWest Airlines said its operations continued to be hit due
to weather and the Omicron variant, which is spreading rapidly
and causing record-breaking cases across the United States.
CNBC first reported United's pay plans.
(Reporting by Abhijith Ganapavaram and additional reporting by
Aishwarya Nair, Vishal Vivek and Kannaki Deka in Bengaluru;
Editing by Anil D'Silva, Bernard Orr and Chris Reese)