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Southwest Airlines flight attendants approve new contract with Dallas-based airline

A blue, red and yellow Southwest Airlines jet arrives at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix with a mountain visible in the background.
Matt York
Southwest Airlines flight attendants have reached an agreement with the Dallas-based carrier.

Southwest Airlines flight attendants on Wednesday approved a new union contract with the Dallas-based carrier — and it comes with a hefty raise.

The contract effective May 1 includes a 22% snap-up raise for this year and 3% raises each of the following three years.

"When union leadership has a membership that is willing to be so unified and show their solidarity in the way that our union members did, that equates to an industry bar-setting contract," union president and lead negotiator Lyn Montgomery told KERA.

The agreement comes after five years of negotiations and no raises for flight crews.

With nearly 20,000 workers, flight attendants are the largest of Southwest’s 12 union-represented employee groups.

“Our flight attendants embody Southwest’s legendary hospitality as they take care of our customers and keep them safe throughout their travels,” Adam Carlisle, vice president of labor relations at Southwest Airlines, said in a statement. “This agreement rewards our flight attendants and includes provisions that strengthen Southwest’s operation.”

Since October 2022, 11 unions at the airline have ratified new agreements, the airline said in a news release.

Southwest Airlines pilots voted to approve their new contract in January. The airline also reached atentative agreement earlier this year with TWU Local 555, its union of nearly 18,000 ramp, operations, provisioning and cargo agents.

KERA News reporter Toluwani Osibamowo contributed to this report.

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Megan Cardona is a daily news reporter for KERA News. She was born and raised in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and previously worked at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.