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Tuesday, Jan 25, 2022
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United, Spirit offering pay boosts to mitigate COVID-related staffing disruptions

United, Spirit offering pay boosts to mitigate COVID-related staffing disruptions

United pilots will get triple-time pay for taking extra flights during January
United and Spirit airlines are offering pay bumps to crew members as the COVID-19 omicron variant continues to wreak havoc on the aviation industry.

Spirit Airlines is offering its flight attendants double pay for working through Jan. 4 amid a swath of virus-related staffing shortages, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, United is offering triple-time pay for pilots that pick up a trip during January.

Throughout the holiday week, airlines have seen pilots, flight attendants, and ground crews call out of work after becoming infected with or being exposed to the virus.

Delta, United and JetBlue have all blamed the omicron variant for causing staffing issues that have led to flights being canceled. Bad weather over the holidays has also impacted airline operations.

For instance, the Pacific Northwest was slammed with cold and heavy snow over the Christmas weekend. Among U.S. airports, Seattle-Tacoma had the highest percentage of incoming and outgoing flights canceled Wednesday, according to FlightAware.

Cancellations began to spike the day before Christmas. However, the issues continue to persist.

On New Year's Day, more than 2,300 flights leaving, entering and within the United States were canceled by 11 a.m. ET, according to FlightAware. On New Year's Eve, there were 1,625 scrapped flights.

Meanwhile, the Monday after New Year’s Day will likely be one of the busiest travel days of the holiday season, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

According to TSA checkpoint data, the number of people flying this holiday season far exceeds last year — before COVID-19 vaccinations were available — and nears pre-pandemic levels.
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