ATLANTA, GA - As airlines desperately struggle to find staff to meet overwhelming demand some are finding themselves forced to use methods they'd never considered before: paying them fairly and treating them well.
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ATLANTA, GA – As airlines desperately struggle to find staff to meet overwhelming demand some are finding themselves forced to use methods they’d never considered before: paying them fairly and treating them well.


“Never thought I’d see this day,” remarked one anonymous airline CEO. “We actually have to treat them nice, and pay them a decent wage! Times, they are a-changing!”

As airlines struggle to adequately service the deluge of travel demand, most simply can’t hire fast enough. Notably, pilot and crew shortages have stung the most and nearly every airline has been forced to trim schedules, cancel or delay flights or pay exorbitant oversold fees to customers.

Now airline CEOs find themselves in a tricky situation and many are realizing they are going to have to get creative. As a last-ditch effort, several are experimenting with a new, untested model to increase employee retention and improve the hiring landscape: actually treating their staff well, and paying them a fair wage.

Will it work? Some airline CEO’s are dubious. “This will never work,” remarked one CEO. “We are setting a dangerous precedent here. Paying people a fair wage? Treating them with respect? Giving them decent benefits? This could change the face of the travel industry and frankly, it’s irresponsible.”

The idea is credited to a junior executive at United Airlines who in a meeting with 19 other white middle-aged male executives, raised her hand tentatively after being browbeaten by the COO on hiring trends. Reportedly she asked, “What if we…uh…pay them a decent wage and don’t treat them like crap?”

After a full 39 minutes of laughing from the other executives, the COO while wiping tears from his eyes, said, “Fine, give it a shot Miller. It’s so crazy it just might work.”

Lee Ballou

Lee is the brains (but definitely not the looks) of The Takeoff Nap. When he's not complaining about upgrades he runs a few travel blogs, but this one is his favorite.

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