Airport workers put in extra hours during record travel numbers

TAMPA, Fla. — It’s the busiest travel day of the season and airport employees are putting in overtime to ensure individuals can get house for the vacations.

There will be a bunch of wheelchairs, feels like I’m working by myself sometimes, and I’m like doubling back, tripling back,” stated Tampa airport professional Anthony Sanders.

Tampa International Airport (TPA) anticipates 65-75,000 travelers to travel through every day throughout this holiday, breaking pre-pandemic travel records. That’s simply countless the 110 million individuals AAA anticipates will take a trip throughout the U.S.

RELATED: Tampa International Airport reports record-breaking guest numbers amidst brand-new COVID-19 rise

In reality, the airport is seeing guest numbers 8-9% greater than the average of other airports throughout the nation.

However when you take a look around, you see a great deal of personnel like Sanders working throughout the vacations.

Airlines took a struck throughout the pandemic and as individuals started taking a trip once again, airports in basic still haven’t had the ability to completely re-staff.

Sanders is a Tampa citizen who is contracted by a business beyond TPA to help senior and disabled travelers in wheelchairs. He was laid off for 3 months throughout the pandemic and with the expense of living in Tampa, he was dealing with homelessness, living out of hotels.

Now that he’s been back to work, he’s working overtime for the vacations — 6 days a week, 8 or more hours a day and his pay is $6.98 an hour, so he counts on ideas.

The base pay in Florida is $10 an hour, so comparable to a dining establishment worker, ideas get him to the legal base pay.

“When I got rehired I suggest, it was still like, you understand, it wasn’t as hectic as it is now. It was still like I would not you understand, ‘cause I rely on my tip money and I wasn’t really — I was probably making maybe $30 a day in tips, and then, you know, we have to report our tips,” Sanders explained. “We weren’t making any money. I slept in hotels. It was very hard, very hard.”

Sanders will be working Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Years, and his birthday on January 2.

We’re very short, we’re extremely understaffed, and we, you understand, we do our finest. I do my finest. Each time I’m here, I do my finest to help individuals, I exceed and above for individuals here and they do, they do you understand, they do value you back,” Sanders stated.

He is likewise part of SEIU 32BJ, a union promoting for airport employees to get greater incomes and more secure working conditions.

If you’re one of the countless individuals flying this holiday, keep in mind 2 things: arrive early and employees like Sanders, who count on ideas.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.