By Ben Zeisloft
Published:January 1, 2022
-The Daily Wire
Various airlines are more than tripling pay for employees amid widespread flight cancellations.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, firms are canceling flights as they experience staff shortages due to the Omicron variant. JetBlue, for instance, nixed 1,280 flights between December 30 and January 13.
CNBC reported that United Airlines will significantly hike compensation for pilots who take extra trips:
United and the pilots union, the Air Line Pilots Association, reached an agreement for higher pay to cover open trips, Bryan Quigley, United’s senior vice president of flight operations said Friday in a staff note, which was seen by CNBC.
Pilots will be offered three-and-a-half times their pay for flying open trips between Dec. 30 and Jan. 3 and triple pay for picking up trips between Jan. 4 and Jan. 29, the note said.
Spirit Airlines is doubling pay for flight attendants, according to CNN Business:
Spirit Airlines flight attendants are receiving double pay on any work through January 4, their union said, as the budget carrier scrambles to keep its schedules intact after U.S. airlines were hammered by a week of mass cancellations…
“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 represented about 4,000 flights attendants at Spirit Airlines, according to the carrier’s latest annual filing.
Beyond flight cancellations, airline executives are seeking to comply with federal regulations surrounding COVID-19 vaccines and mask wearing. In a recent testimony to Congress, American Airlines CEO Doug Parker and Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly told lawmakers that the Biden administration’s mask mandate appears to have a negligible impact on infection.
“I think the case is very strong that masks don’t add much, if anything, in the air cabin environment,” Kelly said. “It is very safe and very high quality compared to any other indoor setting.”
Parker agreed: “I concur, an aircraft is the safest place you can be.”
“It’s true of all of our aircraft — they all have the same HEPA filters and air flow,” Parker added.
Some airlines have walked back their vaccine mandates. Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian, for example, said that announcing a plan to get all employees vaccinated — without enforcing a mandate — has worked, allowing the company to attain a 90% vaccination rate.
“The reason the mandate was put in by [the] president, I believe, was because they wanted to make sure companies had a plan to get their employees vaccinated,” Bastian said. “A month before the president came out with the mandate, we had already announced our plan to get all of our people vaccinated. And the good news is the plan is working.”