As travelers gear up to travel for the holidays, JetBlue is offering a $1,000 bonus for flight attendants who don’t call out of work through the holiday period ending in early January. JetBlue’s full-time workers will qualify for the bonus if they don’t miss work from November 22 through January 5 and have 100 credit hours or more logged into their work schedules.
Ed Baklor, head of JetBlue’s customer care and programs, issued a note to the company’s flight attendants stating, “After a long period away from family and friends, our Customers have been telling us they’re ready to travel and they are counting on us to deliver, Crewmembers and leadership alike. To prepare for the holiday hustle while also recognizing your commitment and support to protecting the operation through the holidays, we’re launching a one-time holiday rewards program to thank Crewmembers who fly their trips and do not call out.”
Baklor did say that if an employee is sick, they should not go to work. But employees who take a sick day will need a doctor’s excuse for any absence between November 22 and January 5.
In recent weeks, airlines have been short-staffed and contributed to the cancellations of thousands of flights and delays.
Many Americans skipped celebrating the holidays with out-of-town family members last year as the COVID-19 virus surged, and a resurgence of travelers is likely this holiday season. The Transportation Security Administration said this week that it anticipates at least 20 million travelers over the Thanksgiving holiday. That would bring it near levels seen before the pandemic.
The challenge, however, is that many airlines have had flight disruptions and are scrambling to ensure they have enough staff to meet their needs. This fall, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines each had to cancel 2,000 flights per week.
But those airlines are stepping up and hoping to avoid repeating that scenario in the coming weeks. American Airlines is offering its flight attendants more holiday pay at a rate of 150 percent for holiday excursions. The airline will also potentially triple an attendant’s salary if they meet its attendance goals through January. Other staff besides airline attendants can also get in on the action. American Airlines will pay $1,000 bonuses to some of its other workers, including those at some of its subsidiaries.
Meanwhile, Southwest is offering its crews 120,000 Rapid Rewards Points, or frequent flyer miles, to meet the company’s attendance targets. The incentive is worth over $1,400.