PHILADELPHIA - US Airways appealed Tuesday to employees to work for free at Philadelphia’s airport over the New Year’s weekend to avoid a repeat of a Christmas fiasco that left the airline with too few workers to fly its planes and process baggage.
Separately, the airline warned employees it would review the attendance records of those who called in sick over the Christmas holiday — and to discipline workers who abused the sick time system.
US Airways Group canceled hundreds of flights in the days around Christmas when an unusually large number of flight attendants and baggage handlers failed to show up for work, crippling a flying operation already hampered by days of bad weather. The debacle left an estimated 10,000 undelivered bags at Philadelphia’s airport and stranded travelers along the east coast. Many vowed to never again fly the airline, which is trying to emerge from bankruptcy.
In a message to its employees Tuesday, US Airways sought volunteers willing to give up their New Year’s Eve plans and work for free in Philadelphia. It said they could expect to be used as customer greeters, ramp agents or baggage sorters.
The company said it would conduct an ‘‘enhanced review’’ of each worker’s attendance record from Dec. 23 to Jan. 3 to determine who should be disciplined, or denied pay, because of the spike in sick calls.
The president of the US Airways unit of the Association of Flight Attendants posted a message on the union’s Web site chastising workers who failed to report to work over the holidays.