Southwest Airways customer support goes absolutely distant, reservations facilities shut

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A traveler walks previous a Southwest Airways airplane because it taxies from a gate at Baltimore Washington Worldwide Thurgood Marshall Airport on October 11, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Kevin Dietsch | Getty Photos

Southwest Airlines‘ customer support brokers will quickly work ‘100%’ remotely because the provider strikes to shut its reservations facilities.

“Southwest Airways simply introduced they’re closing all of the Reservation Facilities and transitioning to 100% distant work,” stated the Worldwide Affiliation of Machinists and Aerospace Employees, the labor union representing the airline’s customer support brokers, in a be aware to members dated Wednesday.

The shift is efficient Sept. 1, Southwest stated, although the airline added that almost all reservations brokers have been working remotely all through the pandemic. It has greater than 3,200 customer support and reservations brokers based mostly in Albuquerque, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Oklahoma Metropolis, Phoenix and at Southwest headquarters in Dallas.

Their predominant job is to assist vacationers with reservations and journey adjustments.

The union stated in its be aware that Southwest made the choice with out union enter. The group did not instantly return request for remark Thursday.

The closures make Southwest the newest firm to weigh whether or not in-office work is critical, efficient and engaging for staff in a post-pandemic tradition. Southwest and different airways are scrambling to rent new employees as journey demand roars again after a two-year Covid hunch.

“Evolving to a completely distant workforce brings elevated flexibility, each in attracting and hiring new Workers from throughout the nation, and in scheduling present Workers who’ve labored at file effectivity in a distant work surroundings,” Southwest stated in an announcement.

Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines nonetheless employees reservations facilities in individual. Spokespeople for the businesses did not instantly touch upon whether or not they plan to make an analogous change.

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