Economy

United Airlines Announces Lottery to Replace Bonuses

United Airlines Announces Lottery to Replace Bonuses

"Our intention was to introduce a better, more exciting program, but we misjudged how these changes would be received by many of you", United President Scott Kirby said in a note to employees.

United Airlines is "pressing the pause button" on a rewards system that would have disbursed bonuses via lottery.

When United first unveiled its plans for the program, called "core4 Score Rewards", the airline said it hoped offering meaningful rewards would "build excitement and a sense of accomplishment with more bang for the buck".

Three days after announcing a new, lottery-based bonus system for employees, United Airlines is putting it on hold.

"As we look to continue improving, we took a step back and made a decision to replace the quarterly operational bonus and flawless attendance programs with an exciting new rewards program called "core4 Score Rewards", Kirby wrote in the memo.

The short-lived concept had United saying that so long as United hit at least one performance goal, there would be a quarterly drawing for prizes including luxury cars, vacation packages or cash from two grand to $40,000, with one employee getting a grand prize of $100,000, the Chicago journal reported.

The dust-up over the bonus lottery showed that United is struggling to overcome a legacy of poor labor relations since its 2010 merger with Continental Airlines.

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It would have been available only to workers with a ideal attendance record and when the airline met certain performance targets.

Southwest Airlines Co. has its own lottery system that awards a small number of employees cash prizes based on the number of company goals achieved each year, a spokeswoman for the carrier said.

The proposed lottery system - which offered prizes ranging from a Mercedes sedan to a one-person $100k payout - would've only affected 1,361 employees, and cost the company around $18m. The bonuses were given to not only United's 24,000 flight attendants but also its pilots and gate agents among others, she said.

Prior to Friday's announcement, all eligible United employees could receive up to about $300 per quarter, or $1,500 per year, a United spokesperson said.

United employs almost 90,000 people.

"So, we are pressing the pause button on these changes to review your feedback and consider the right way to move ahead", the message continued. "All our hard work to make this company a success if we never call in sick".


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