Southwest scrambles to fill staff shortages with HQ staff: memo

Southwest Airlines resorted to drastic measures to get its planes off the bottom, pushing company staff to decide up shifts as schedulers.

The embattled airline sought volunteers at Southwest’s company workplaces in Dallas to bolster a scarcity in a key position chargeable for scheduling pilot and flight attendant staffing, in accordance to an inner memo Wednesday.

The determined push got here earlier than Southwest was compelled to scrap greater than 2,300 flights on Thursday — bringing the whole variety of cancellations to greater than 15,000 throughout the Christmas vacation interval.

The inner company memo obtained by the news site Insider sought volunteers for one in all three eight-hour shifts in a round the clock effort to assist crews on the bottom who’re short-staffed.

“As we manage our network recovery, Southwest is utilizing employees across the airline to lend extra support to our customers and crews in many functions,” a spokesperson for the airline advised The Post on Thursday.

Southwest cancelled some 2,600 flights on Thursday. In total, it has cancelled more than 15,000 flights during the Christmas holiday period.
Southwest cancelled some 2,600 flights on Thursday. In complete, it has cancelled greater than 15,000 flights throughout the Christmas vacation interval.
CQ-Roll Call, Inc through Getty Imag

Southwest advised Insider that the company staff who volunteer for the shifts can be educated by crew schedulers in a “train the trainer” strategy.

Crew schedulers are tasked with notifying crew members of their in-flight duties and managing crew schedules.

The shifts can be in lieu of regular work duties and would rely towards common workdays, the memo mentioned. It is unclear if the company staff had been supplied additional pay.

According to the flight-tracking website FlightAware, Southwest on Thursday accounted for 96% of all canceled home flights — 2,357 of the two,448 flights that had been scrapped.

Ryan Green, the company’s chief industrial officer, posted a video on social media apologizing for the dysfunction.

“My personal apology is the first step of making things right after many plans changed and experiences fell short of your expectations of us,” Green mentioned within the video.

Southwest experienced a system-wide meltdown that caused flights to be cancelled.
Southwest skilled a system-wide meltdown that brought on flights to be cancelled.
Getty Images

“We’re continuing to work to make this up to you, and you’ll continue to hear about that soon. But for now, we’re focused on restoring the reliability and level of customer experience we expect of ourselves, and you expect of us.”

Bob Jordan, Southwest’s CEO, gave a number of media interviews earlier this week echoing the apology.

“I’m truly sorry … we have some real work to do in making this right,” Jordan said in a video tackle late Tuesday.

The company has drawn scrutiny from the Biden administration and lawmakers on Capitol Hill who’re calling for an investigation.

“You’ve got a company here that’s got a lot of cleaning up to do,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg mentioned. The cupboard member referred to as the scenario a “meltdown.”

Earlier this week, it was discovered {that a} Southwest govt warned of a staffing disaster at Denver International Airport, one of many airline’s main bases of operation.

Chris Johnson, Southwest’s vice chairman of floor operations, circulated a memo to ramp staff on Dec. 21 declaring a “state of operational emergency” at its base in Denver after “an unusually high number” of staff didn’t present up for work, according to Bloomberg News.

Thousands of passengers were stranded at airports nationwide due to the crisis.
Thousands of passengers had been stranded at airports nationwide due to the disaster.
Getty Images

On Monday, the Dallas-based company lastly cited climate and staffing points at Denver International Airport for setting off a sequence of occasions that led to large, systemwide disruptions that started over the vacation weekend and prolonged into this week.

Frustrated passengers who had been compelled to camp out at airports for hours after having their journey plans ruined frantically sought to ebook seats on different airways or lease vehicles to get to their locations.

Back to top button