Southwest Airlines Commits to “Do Better”

Southwest Airlines’ Frontline Workers Threaten to Picket

Frontline workers for Southwest Airlines are threatening to picket over mismanagement, low staffing and scheduling issues as air travel continues to rebound.

According to, unions representing Southwest’s pilots and flight attendants said the carrier is “severely understaffed,” forcing employees to regularly work the maximum number of hours permitted by federal law.


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Another problem being reported is that when flight crews arrive at their destinations, there is little to no hotel or food availability, with many employees complaining they cannot reach the company for help.

“We are united on this issue. Our flight attendants are weary, exhausted, and they can take no more,” Southwest union president Lyn Montgomery told ABC News. “We’re asking that additional flights not be added to the schedule until the company can handle the flight schedules that we currently have.”

“We all want to get back to the pre-pandemic days, but we have to be able to handle things the way they are right now, the way things are still with the pandemic,” Montgomery continued.

Last month, Southwest officials started offering flight attendants double-time to pick up extra shifts, with the airline now offering employees referral bonuses to try and fill vacancies. Despite the perks, the complaints from employees have largely been ignored.

Union representatives for Southwest pilots said they would picket during the busy Thanksgiving and Christmas rush if negotiations don’t advance in a timely fashion.

Southwest vice president of inflight operations Sonya Lacore responded to the accusations.

“The safety of our employees and customers comes first, at all times, and that continues to be the priority in everything that we do,” Lacore told ABC News. “We are aware of the concerns the TWU 556 raised in their letter, and there is much work already underway to address many of the issues this summer.”

On Thursday, Southwest and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) reached a Tentative Agreement for the airline’s more than 5,000 customer service employees.

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