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American Airlines to offer holiday pay bonuses for flight attendants

American Airlines announced that flight attendants who have no absences between Nov. 15 and Jan. 2 will receive a 300% pay premium for hours worked.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — American Airlines announced that some employees who work critical hours will be eligible for one-time pay increases during peak holiday travel periods. 

Brady Byrnes, vice president of flight service for American Airlines, said American is taking steps to ensure it can "safely and reliably" serve customers who are traveling for the holidays. As part of that, employees who have no absences from Nov. 15 to Jun. 2 will receive a 300% pay premium for the hours worked during peak travel periods. 

The announcement comes after the U.S. lifted travel restrictions on travel from a long list of countries, including Mexico, Canada and most of Europe. Starting Nov. 8, fully vaccinated travelers will be accepted at airports and land borders, doing away with COVID-109 restrictions that date back to 2020. 

American canceled hundreds of flights over Halloween weekend, including over 140 to or from Charlotte Douglas International Airport. The airline said high winds at its hub in Dallas caused a chain reaction that led to a shortage of available flight crews at airports nationwide. American Airlines told WCNC Charlotte the cancellations weren't because of COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

All American line holders and reserves who work during these peak travel times will be offered a 150% premium on non-red flag sequences. This premium will be paid during two periods: 

  • Nov. 23 through Nov. 29 
  • Dec. 22 through Jan. 2

American Airlines employees will also receive holiday pay per the company's contract. 

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Byrnes said flight attendants should be recognized for their hard work during the pandemic with changing COVID-19 rules and more unruly passengers on flights.

"The past few months, and particularly the past week, have been challenging," Byrnes wrote. "From mother nature wreaking havoc on the operation, the myriad of policy changes you've had to keep up with and an increase in incidents of customer misconduct, you've been dealing with a lot."

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