Alaska Airlines offers incentives to combat Flight Attendant shortage

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The staffing challenges in the US Airline industry seem to continue, and to fight their own issues, Alaska Airlines is offering pay incentives to flight attendants with the aim of tackling the shortage during this next summer travel season.

In a statement, Alaska Airlines said that, like many airlines they are facing staffing challenges, in response they’re offering flight attendants pay incentives to fill gaps in staffing for a short period of time this spring. On how much extra the flight attendants will be compensated, the Seattle-based carrier refused to elaborate any further. 

During the last winter travel season, all major US carriers saw an astounding number of their staff be inactive due to the then latest strain of the Covid-19 virus, omicron. The surge of omicron cases happened to coincide with last year’s holiday travel season which got mixed with an array of weather challenges which forced many carriers to cancel or delay thousands of flights.

The airline has hired 165 new flight attendants ahead of the spring and summer travel seasons. This year, with omicron becoming endemic, the travel season promises to be as busy as the one in 2019, the last normal recorded before the pandemic later that same year. 

The airline knows that in order to return to pre pandemic profitability, they must staff up early. This calls for an uptick in their capacity for hiring and training new staff and their infrastructure. The airline right now is at 80-85% of pre-COVID flying. Their aim is to return to 100% and the beyond by the end of this year.

Right now travelers are out, the planes are full and it will continue for several weeks as spring break makes its appearance. Capitalizing from this renewed will of the traveling public is without any doubt the #1 priority for all US carriers. We’ll see in the coming weeks how well this incentives work against Alaska Airlines’ potential cancellations. 

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    By: Alfonso Vázquez

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