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The Dallas-based airline has had to cancel hundreds of flights and delay more this month due to a combination of bad weather and a technical glitch.
The rapid increase in staff shows how hard it is for airlines to respond to an increase in air travel after demand slumps during the pandemic. US airlines have received $ 54 billion in federal aid in return for not firing workers. But thousands of employees at Southwest and other airlines have made buyouts or time off at the behest of company executives.
“We have heard from many of you who are frustrated with the reliability of our network and the erratic operations created by summer storms in many parts of the country,” wrote Alan Kasher, executive vice president of daily operations at Southwest, in a staff note posted Monday, titled “We need your help on this week’s vacation. “
“To remedy the short-term situation, we will incentivize our operations employees during this busy vacation travel week by increasing overtime pay July 1-7,” he said.
Southwest flight attendants will receive double pay for taking open shifts during this period, Sonya Lacore, Southwest’s vice president of flight operations, wrote on Monday in a separate memo to employees.
Southwest did not immediately comment.