JetBlue offers flight attendants $1,000 attendance bonuses for spring travel surge

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A jetBlue Airways airplane takes off from Newark Liberty Airport on September 30, 2018 as seen from Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Gary Hershorn | Corbis News | Getty Images

JetBlue Airways is offering flight attendants $1,000 bonuses if they don’t call out from work starting Friday through the end of May as the carrier tries to ensure staffing levels during a surge in travel demand, according to company note to staff.

Flight attendants will also receive $100 bonuses for picking up open trips, said the note, which was seen by CNBC.

Staffing shortages have hamstrung airlines over the past year, particularly during Covid peaks, such as widespread omicron cases that sidelined crews during the year-end holidays. The additional pay shows airlines are willing to shell out more to try to entice workers to pick up shifts in order to avoid sometimes costlier flight disruptions.

“The spring rewards programs comes at a time when every flight makes a difference as hours are tight and staffing levels are not where they need to be,” Ed Baklor, JetBlue’s head of customer care and programs, said in the memo.

JetBlue didn’t immediately comment.

The incentive program starts days after JetBlue made a $3.6 billion, all-cash offer to buy discount carrier Spirit Airlines.

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