Southwest pilots, other workers to get bonus pay for working during holiday meltdown

Airline giving estimated $45M in ‘bonus pay’

Southwest Airlines is giving its pilots an estimated $45 million in “bonus pay” for working during the company’s holiday meltdown.

The airline canceled nearly 17,000 flights between Dec. 21 and Dec. 29, which cost the company between $725 million and $825 million.

[TRENDING: Cooler temps arrive in Central Florida, but more changes are on the wayNews 6 releases new appBrevard County teacher arrested after trying to lure child for sex, deputies say | Become a News 6 Insider]

Other Southwest employees who worked during that time will also receive “gratitude” compensation, but the airline did not specify how much.

There are around 9,400 pilots currently working for Southwest.

After a large amount of cancelations and delays over the holidays, Southwest Airlines is promising its customers changes to avoid the same issues in the future.

The massive disruptions began Dec. 22 with a winter storm, and snowballed when Southwest’s ancient crew-scheduling technology was overwhelmed, leaving crews and planes out of position to operate flights. It took the airline eight days to recover.

The massive disruptions began Dec. 22 with a winter storm, and snowballed when Southwest’s ancient crew-scheduling technology was overwhelmed, leaving crews and planes out of position to operate flights. It took the airline eight days to recover.

“Emerging from some of the most challenging days in our Company’s history, we are highly focused on our Customers, our recovery, and our plan going forward. Our immediate task has been to stabilize our operation, and we are pleased to report that since the disruptions, we’ve operated our expected flight schedule with the Southwest® Reliability that we’ve upheld for 51 years,” he wrote in a letter to members.

Click here to read the full plan.


Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily:


About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.