Contractors are short over 100 staff for the Delta Air Lines lounge at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport. This has prompted the airline to reach out to its own employees, asking them to help out for a few hours to keep the lounge open. Delta already has a strong tradition of volunteering through its Peach Corps program, with employees stepping in during the busiest times of the year and extraordinary events.
Airlines may have been keeping their aircraft technically maintained, crew in training, and ready to ramp operations back up along with increasing demand. However, that does not mean that all ground support partners and contractors are immediately poised and staffed for air travel to return.
115 workers short
The usual supplier of employees for Delta Air Lines Sky Club lounge at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport is having trouble finding enough workers. As such, Bloomberg reports, Delta has sent out an internal request to its salaried and managerial staff to volunteer and chip in a few hours, helping out with all things related to the service in the lounge.
“Just come to the ATL airport for a few hours to help with cleaning, wiping tables, running food, restocking food buffets, etc.,” the message read.
Furthermore, it said volunteers should wear business casual black pants and a white shirt. Aprons will be provided on-site. The request also stated that the airline’s lounge was short about 115 workers.
Delta said volunteers are welcome at any time, but there is a limit of three days per person every month. There will be no extra pay or compensation for helping out.
The Delta Peach Corps
This is not the first time Delta calls on volunteers. The airline often requests the help of willing employees during the busiest times of the year, such as over Thanksgiving. Its volunteer program, known as the Peach Corps, also takes care of other matters than restocking complimentary beverages.
In March last year, just after COVID had been declared a pandemic, 240 Delta office workers volunteered to keep customer-facing areas such as ticket counters and kiosks clean and sanitized across ATL. The effort included coming in on weekends.
Hurricanes and terminal changes
When hurricane Irma hit Atlanta in September 2017, many of Hartsfield-Jackson Airport’s frontline workers could not make it to work as public transport was shut down. Over 100 Delta Peach Corps program participants then helped meet passengers in wheelchairs, prepared catering for flights, assisted with wayfinding, and rerouted luggage.
The Peach Corps have also been called in to help direct travelers on such occasions as when Delta moved its operations from Terminals 5 and 6 at Los Angeles LAX to Terminals 2 and 3 in May four years ago, or when Delta Shuttle switched homes at LaGuardia late the same year.
Do you think there will be an issue overall for airlines to increase operations for lack of staff in areas such as ground support and catering? What do you think of Delta’s volunteer program? Leave a comment below and let us know.