Southwest Using Cash Incentive for Staff Referrals

Ah, money.

The ultimate enticement.

Southwest Airlines knows this.

The Dallas-based carrier is offering bonuses worth $300 to current staff if they identify and suggest a future Southwest employee, a move the airline hopes will ease its struggles in filling jobs, according to CNBC .

The bonus program will run through Nov. 20.

Southwest saw how staffing shortages in the industry affected fellow airlines after watching Spirit Airlines suffer through a horrendous two weeks of cancellations. Spirit canceled more than 2,800 flights, as staffing was a large part of the issue, and admitted it lost more than $50 million .

Southwest also admitted that the delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is already having an effect on bookings .

“Southwest is experiencing a sharp decline in qualified applicants due to low labor force participation and competition for available talent,” Southwest vice president and chief people officer Julie Weber wrote in a Tuesday note to staff, which was reviewed by CNBC.

Southwest staff can receive 20,000 “SWAG Points” — 10,000 on their referral’s first day of work and 10,000 after that person completes six months with the airline. Those points on Southwest’s internal platform have a taxable value of 1.5 cents each, a company document says, giving the points a value of about $300. Southwest’s points can be redeemed for frequent flyer miles, gift cards or concert tickets.

Southwest Using Cash Incentive for Staff Referrals

Hongxia Sun