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Where’s our pay for operating Santa’s sleigh?

Flying around the holidays can be tough for us. Stressed passengers. Inclement weather. Missing time with our families.

Delta Flight Attendants deserve to be compensated in a way that acknowledges our time and sacrifices around the holidays. It’s time for Delta to stuff our stockings with fair wages.

Our holiday pay is always dictated by management, never negotiated by us. Delta claims our holiday pay is industry leading, but that lie is more stale than a gingerbread house on New Year’s.

Our holiday premium pay is a flat rate of $25/hour extra for those under 13 years of service or $6.25/TAFB. It rises incrementally after that up to $31.91 for those with 30 years of service. That means that while a new hire will be making well over time and a half, those with more seniority will be making a lot less than time and a half.

No matter what management claims, many Flight Attendants who have negotiated holiday pay at our competitors far outpace our holiday pay. In some cases, Flight Attendants earn up to double time on eligible holidays and sometimes even the days preceding or following a holiday, regardless of seniority. Some airlines even offer incentives for picking up from open time. Getting paid double time? That would certainly put a little extra peppermint in your cocoa.

  • Our flying partners at American have negotiated a contract that guarantees them DOUBLE TIME for major holidays, including the day before Thanksgiving as well as the Sunday and Monday after Thanksgiving as premium pay. They also include Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the day after Christmas. This recognizes that “holidays” are more than just one day, and rewards Flight Attendants who take time away from their families to keep the operation running. Thanks to their union contract, American Flight Attendants can earn double time for up to 9 days over the course of the holidays.
  • At Frontier, Flight Attendants automatically make time and a half for holidays, but that bumps to DOUBLE TIME if a Flight Attendant flies over 82 hours in a bid period. That deal extends to 12 recognized holidays throughout the year.
  • Southwest also pays DOUBLE TIME for recognized holidays, which can be combined along with time and a half for picking up trips from open time on New Years!
  • United Flight Attendants negotiated a formula for their holiday pay which is much more rewarding than hours. Their holiday pay is calculated by taking the hourly rate of pay times the credited flight time for the rotation, divided by the number of hours away from home, times the number of hours away from home falling within the holiday. While this may seem like a complicated formula, it results in more holiday pay than what we receive at Delta. Look at this

Our bi-weekly pay system is another lump of coal around the holidays. It forces us all to take time away from our family to make sure we still get a full paycheck. Flight Attendants at union-represented airlines all have bi-monthly paychecks protected by their contracts. This ensures flexibility for workers in a career that has never been a normal 9 to 5. With bi-weekly pay, we have far less flexibility in building our schedules, especially when things go awry. Bi-weekly pay forces us to choose between priority pickup and availability, an issue only compounded by holiday flying. That doesn’t help Flight Attendants—it’s designed to give management more power over us.

We can change all of these things. Together, we can form our union and negotiate for better compensation around the holidays, instead of just accepting what the company gives us. We deserve higher holiday wages and fewer days requiring doctor certifications. We deserve industry-leading pay for sacrificing time with our families to take our passengers home to theirs. We can negotiate for more paid holidays, higher pay on holidays, and premium pay for the busiest travel days of the year. We can negotiate for a pay schedule and work rules that give us flexibility. Delta always says we’re the very best in the business, but acts like Scrooge when it’s time to prove it.

Is better holiday pay and more flexibility on your holiday wish list this year? Don’t wait for the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future to show up and scare management into doing the right thing! Sign a card, wear your pin, talk to your coworkers, and give yourself the best gift of all this year–a black and white contract negotiated by Delta Flight Attendants, FOR Delta Flight Attendants. Sign a card, and get involved in our campaign!

Wishing you a safe and Happy Holiday Season, wherever your travels may take you.