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American Employee: “Helping People is Usually Rewarding”

American Airlines employees at MIA, Tuesday, August 29, 2017. Photo by Brandon Wade

After American Airlines was reportedly asking employees to volunteer for extra work at their home airport, an insider at the carrier told FlyerTalk it was not necessarily what it seemed. Instead of asking for extra work, the administrative team is being offered a change of scenery for a day.

Although American Airlines employees are being asked to take on additional work at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) this summer, new information suggests that the shifts aren’t necessarily unpaid. In an interview with FlyerTalk, an employee for the carrier notes that workers near the headquarters are given the option to work if their schedules allow.

“Helping People is Usually Rewarding, and a Change of Scenery is Not so Bad.”

Previously, American was reportedly requesting employee help to deal with a swift recovery for air travel in 2021. The reports suggested that the work was unpaid and additional to the workload they were responsible for at the headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas.

However, the American employee, who requested anonymity, noted that the policy was not intended to ask employees to “work harder, not smarter.” Instead, the opportunity is available to those who have the workload to take a shift at the airport.

Because most employees at American’s worldwide headquarters are salaried, the shifts would effectively replace a single day of work at the office. Those who have the capability and ability to assist at DFW could volunteer to work at the airport for a day, instead of their desk. Thus, the employees are still getting compensated for their work – but are trading capacities for a day.

The employee was unable to elaborate on how other workers felt about the policy, or if they would volunteer for one of the shifts, because they are still on a work-from-home plan. If the opportunity presented itself, the employee noted they would consider it, because: “Helping people is usually rewarding, and a change of scenery is not so bad if your workload allows you to do it.”

Request for Additional Help Comes as Flyers Return in Droves to the Airport

Regardless of how it comes, American is asking for help as the number of flyers daily is quickly returning to normal. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reports the first two-million passenger screening days since the pandemic began were recorded on July 11 and 13, 2021, and screened in total over five million passengers during the weekend. The two days were only down compared to 2019 by 26 percent and 21 percent, respectively.

glob99 June 18, 2021

So if you volunteer it means you don't have enough regular work to do. Another cost cutting opportunity. ;)

FlyingNone June 16, 2021

One would think not much...... maybe show people how to use the kiosk or tag bags. If a person is late for a flight and needs rebooking, this might not sound too complicated but there might be a fee or fare change involved and computer entries that Mr. CEO is not going to be familiar with. So it's nice to look at but can only be a small improvement to speed up the crowds.

PHL June 15, 2021

How did the unions react to non-union workers coming to the airport to pitch in? What kinds of volunteer work can non-union employees do that don't violate any contracts?