Delta Air Lines has called on pilots, flight attendants and other workers to ‘volunteer’ for extra shifts cleaning and running tables in its Atlanta Sky Club airport lounges due to a severe understaffing of contract workers. The situation is now so bad that Delta says employees can come in at any time to help out because nearly every shift is understaffed.
In an internal memo first reported by Twitter user and industry insider JonNYC, the airline confirms that its Sky Club locations at Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport (ATL) are understaffed by as many as 115 contract workers.
Pilots, flight attendants and other workers who form Delta’s voluntary ‘Peach Corps’ group have been asked to work up to three times per week in the clubs, cleaning, wiping tables, running food and restocking food buffets.
Sources say Delta is only asking for volunteers and is not putting pressure on any of its workers to help out in the clubs. Generally, members of the Peach Corps welcome the opportunity to do voluntary work and enjoy seeing another part of the operation.
Last year, volunteers first stepped in to help Delta when the airline introduced enhanced cleaning regimens onboard its planes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Peach Corp volunteers also help out during irregular operations such as during bad weather.
“Just as we’ve done for years with Peach Corps employee volunteers during our busiest travel seasons, we have asked Atlanta-based, salaried employees to volunteer in our Atlanta Delta Sky Clubs to help meet the rapid, recent increases in customer volumes and ensure that our teams continuously deliver the elevated Club experiences our customers have come to expect,” a spokesperson for Delta confirmed.
“No matter where a Delta employee works – whether in the operation or at headquarters – one thing consistent among all Delta people is their willingness to lend a hand. It is part of Delta’s culture and is the Delta Difference,” a statement continued.
Volunteers will be obvious from the fact that they are being asked to wear their own black slacks and white shirts while working in the Sky Clubs. The airline will, however, provide aprons.
Traditionally known for its operational reliability, Delta has faced several periods of disruption over the last year owing to staff shortages – in particular amongst its pilot workforce. Recently, the airline was forced to temporarily relax its middle seat blocking policy early because of a slew of flight cancellations caused by a pilot shortage.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.