American Airlines Asks Corporate Employees to Volunteer at Airport After Cutting 30 Percent of Support Staff
Corporate employees would be asked to work six-hour shifts between June and August to help travelers find their way around the airport, among other duties
American Airlines is looking for a little extra assistance from its corporate staff.
As airports are preparing for a surge in travelers this summer, the company has asked corporate employees from its headquarters to volunteer at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
"As we look forward to welcoming back more of our customers this summer, we know they're counting on us to deliver a reliable operation and help them feel comfortable as they return after many months away from traveling," Sarah Jantz, a spokesperson for American Airlines, told PEOPLE in a statement.
She added, "That's something our front-line teams are experts on as they regularly go above and beyond to take care of our customers. To ensure they have the support they need this summer and beyond, our corporate support teams will provide additional support at DFW."
Corporate employees would be asked to work six-hour shifts between June and August to help travelers find their way around the airport, among other duties, according to the statement.
Those who volunteer would generally do so during normal work hours as part of their regular work responsibilities, Jantz clarified.
The Dallas Morning News was first to report on American Airlines' new request.
Over the past year, the company has cut around 30 percent of its support staff, laying off around 1,500 people in the process, Business Insider reported.
The airline has seen a staggering increase in travel bookings in comparison to its record low numbers throughout 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In March, the Texas-based air carrier — which lost more than $8.9 billion last year — said in a regulatory filing that net bookings are at 90 percent of the company's pre-pandemic 2019 average, with 80 percent of seats onboard being filled.
"Due to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention order to require a negative COVID-19 test for entry into the U.S. at the beginning of 2021, the Company experienced softness in its bookings at the beginning of the first quarter," American Airlines said. "However, as infection and hospitalization rates have materially declined and vaccine distribution has increased during the quarter," the company says it has experienced an increase in bookings.
The airline went on to say that it expects the upward trend to continue.
On Monday, the Transportation Security Authority (TSA) recorded over two million passengers — the highest number since March 2020. On June 13, 2019, the TSA recorded just over half a million more passengers, by comparison.