American Airlines Calls On Employees To Volunteer To Help With DFW Airport Summer Rush

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American Airlines is asking its headquarters employees to volunteer at DFW International Airport this summer as the carrier grapples with an influx of summer passengers due to pent-up pandemic demand.

Fort Worth-based American, which is headquartered a few miles from its largest hub in DFW, is asking non-union workers to give up their free time to help frontline workers at DFW with tasks such as helping out with customers in the international terminal and return of wheelchairs.

“While we look forward to welcoming more of our customers again this summer, we know they are counting on us to ensure a reliable operation and to help them feel comfortable when they return after several months of absence. American Airlines spokesperson Sarah Jantz said. in a report. “This is an area in which our frontline teams are experts, as they regularly go above and beyond to take care of our clients. To ensure they have the support they need this summer and beyond, our business support teams will provide additional support to DFW. “

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Shortage of workers at DFW airport threatens to slow resumption of summer travel

The resumption of summer travel may be hampered by a critical shortage of field workers. Airport restaurants and retailers say they are struggling to hire workers for concessions that have been closed during much of the pandemic, echoing the job squeeze that’s happening in the economy in Canada. broad sense, just as the airline industry hopes to increase this summer.

Headquarters employees, who work in areas such as planning, planning and network communications, will not be paid for overtime shifts and are required to volunteer outside of their normal duties. But the airline also doesn’t require employees to do extra work. American is asking employees to volunteer for six hour shifts.

This is not the first time that headquarters employees have contributed to airport operations, Jantz said. But it’s rare for the company to ask for help from all of its support staff.

The bulk of the work will be helping customers navigate the airport at points of entry, TSA lines and exiting planes. Volunteers will be there to supplement full-time workers such as gate and ticket agents, and the airline expects to use volunteers only during the busiest time, June through mid-August.

American Airlines has fewer support staff after a year of cutting costs to help the company return to a strong financial position. The carrier has cut 30% of its support staff through voluntary departures, early retirements and layoffs of around 1,500 staff.

But the airline and airports across the country have been plagued by a shortage of workers, from wheelchair transport workers to restaurant cooks.

Passenger traffic at airports across the country has increased in recent months as more people get vaccinated and the global COVID-19 pandemic reaches its second summer. Just under 2 million passengers passed through security checkpoints at airports across the country on Sunday, the Transportation Security Administration reported. This is the highest number since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

During Memorial Day weekend, DFW International Airport handled 88% as many departing and landing passengers as it did on Memorial Day 2019, airport CEO Sean Donohue said.

“Memorial Day weekend has been a very busy one here at DFW for the weekend,” Donohue said last week.

For its part, American is actually planning more flights from DFW this summer than in 2019. It also has 219 destinations from the central airport, more than two years ago.

Passengers board a flight to New Orleans at Dallas Love Field in Dallas on May 19.
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The wave of summer travel to airports may make you think it’s 2019 again … just with masks

Millions of Americans are ready to reject a year’s precautions to avoid planes and destinations, and airline and travel analysts anticipate increased demand that could make airports look like they used to be. before the COVID-19 pandemic draws momentum from the red hot travel industry. American Airlines has said it will fly around 90% more indoor seats this summer from DFW than in 2019, a banner year for airlines. They will also fly around 80% more international seats than in 2019, supported by trips to Mexico and the Caribbean, as most of Europe and Asia remain difficult to access for American tourists.

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