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Southwest Hawaii Flights: Pilots Seal Deal While Flight Attendants Eye Strike

Today, the Southwest Airlines flight attendants’ union voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike after rejecting the contract deal proposed by the union last month. This is significant as it is the first time in the union’s history that a strike authorization has been approved.

How important is Southwest to Hawaii?

Over the past five years since its arrival in the islands, Southwest has become one of the most important airlines to aviation-dependent Hawaii visitors and residents. The airline has the better part of one hundred Hawaii flights daily, both interisland and trans-Pacific.

98% of SW flight attendants’ union members say strike.

The union represents more than 15,000 members. The union said Tuesday, “98% YES sends a strong message of solidarity. We will do whatever it takes to get a Contract that recognizes our contributions to the success of our co” (company).

Lyn Montgomery, the union president, described Southwest flight attendants as the hardest working in the industry.

Southwest Airlines, on the other hand, tried to assuage the fears of the flying public, saying that their strike authorization wouldn’t impact Southwest’s flights or its customers. Much remains to be seen.

Southwest Hawaii Pilot father and daughter team

This comes one day following Southwest pilots’ epic 5-year contract approval.

On Monday, Southwest pilots overwhelmingly approved their new five-year contract, which offers an immediate pay raise with more to follow. The previous pilot agreement ended in 2020, and this has taken a long time to achieve. Their new agreement, which was approved by 93% of Southwest’s 11,000 pilots, includes big pay raises, plus added retirement benefits, disability insurance, and a new scheduling process.

Classless Southwest Hawaii Review: Unique In The Market

Who will pay for the massive $12 billion contract?

Clearly, it comes down to airline passengers who will be footing the bill for the huge pay increases at Southwest, Hawaiian, United, and others. Under the terms of this contract, Southwest Airlines pilots will achieve an enormous pay raise over the next five years. They will immediately receive a 29% pay hike, followed by additional raises of 4% in 2025, 2026, and 2027, and a final 3.25% rise in 2028.

It’s fascinating that within one day of the pilots’ success in their negotiations, the same airline’s flight attendants voted to strike.

It is believed that when all is said and done, Southwest will become the highest-paid cabin crew in the U.S. airline industry.

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6 thoughts on “Southwest Hawaii Flights: Pilots Seal Deal While Flight Attendants Eye Strike”

  1. I’m very happy for all the Pilots and Air crews. But for someone on a fixed income, Air travel will be more difficult, We the customers will being paying.

  2. I don’t know what flight attendants make, but they are hard working and deserve to be fairly compensated.
    The consumer always pays no matter what. We are currently on the Big Island and flew SW. Hope attendants don’t strike before our flight home. Regardless, won’t let this ruin our trip.

  3. There are a good many factors that come into play when it comes to the price of an airline ticket. By far the largest factor is the price of fuel and that has been coming down recently

    1. Right you are Roy, in addition flight crew pay has made gains at all airlines from the draconian cuts of the 80’s and 90’s so many suffered……there seems to be little correlation between average ticket prices and pay scales. Tickets don’t go up every time pilots get a raise, many other factors effect that….It seems some people want others to work for lower pay than they deserve just so they can have a slightly cheaper vacation???? Airline tickets to Hawaii are a bargain, it’s the hotel rooms that are outlandish.

  4. Good for the pilots. It’s about time! Why does it have to drag on for years every time? SW is an exceptional airline with exceptional employees. Treat them like it!! Now, pay your flight attendant’s. Why does it have to come down to coersion and threats every time for management to do the right thing. You will have to do it anyway.

  5. With the approval of the pilots contract and soon to be the flight attendant contract, we can predict the cost to fly to the Hawaiian Islands will increase significantly.
    This will cause us to look to find a new vacation location which is reasonably affordable.
    Going to the Hawaiian Islands will soon become a destination only for elites who have few financial restraints, but will eliminate my family and others like me from visiting this incredible place.

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