American Airlines, whose layoffs reportedly involved about 1,500 people, has asked workers in the Dallas area to volunteer six-hour, unpaid shifts at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport as the number of travelers increases this summer, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Corporate employees agreeing to the volunteer arrangement will be non-union workers and would be asked to contribute during their regular working hours.
The combination of a rapidly expanding travel economy and the airline industry worker shortage – due in large part to the massive layoffs last year – is creating a major headache.
American Airlines spokesperson Sarah Jantz told the Dallas Morning News: “As we look forward to welcoming back more of our customers this summer, we know they’re counting on us to deliver a reliable operation and help them feel comfortable as they return after many months away from traveling.
“That’s something our front-line teams are experts on as they regularly go above and beyond to take care of our customers. To ensure they have the support they need this summer and beyond, our corporate support teams will provide additional support at DFW.”
These shifts, from June to August, involve helping customers find their way around the airport, among other duties, and would be six-hour assignments, according to the memo obtained by the Dallas Morning News.
And Bloomberg reported a similar plan at Delta Airlines, which, in May, asked staffers to volunteer for work shifts with no extra pay out of Atlanta.
American Airlines reportedly will bring its furloughed pilots back to “flying status” by the end of the summer and plan to continue hiring pilots this fall, according to Fox Business.
The Transportation Security Administration screened almost 2 million people at airports on Sunday, the highest daily number of travelers since the pandemic began.