Southwest will give flight attendants travel rewards to avoid staffing shortages during peak holiday travel

Southwest Airlines check-in
Southwest Airlines passengers checking in for their flight.
  • Southwest Airlines will increase perks to retain staff this holiday season.
  • Southwest's COO recently said the company must build a "staffing cushion" to avoid disruptions.
  • Flight attendants told Insider they considered quitting due to the rise in passenger violence this year.

Southwest Airlines is incentivizing employees to work during peak holiday travel season with up to 120,000 reward points.

Southwest told Insider the company will offer the rewards points to pilots, flight attendants, and other operations employees who work between November 15 and January 14. CNBC first reported the rewards program.

Corporations in transportation, retail, and other industries have struggled to find enough workers this year, contributing to ongoing flight and supply chain disruptions.

After Southwest left thousands of passengers stranded in October after abruptly cancelling 3,000 flights due to air traffic control problems, chief operating officer Mike Van de Ven told employees the company needs to build a "staffing cushion" to prevent disruptions.

Van de Ven said the company will reduce winter schedules if it cannot find enough workers.

American Airlines, Spirit, and Delta also cancelled flights in the summer due to unavailable flight crews.

Southwest recently launched a free, six-month DoorDash subscription for flight attendants and pilots.

Flight attendants told Insider they have considered quitting due to the rise in unruly passenger violence in 2021. The Federal Aviation Administration received 5,000 reports of passengers assaulting flight attendants, most of which pertain to the country's airline mask mandate.

Crew members have reported being hit, kicked, spat on, and verbally harassed by airline passengers.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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