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Southwest Airlines' CEO Got a 75% Pay Bump Ahead of the Holiday Travel Catastrophe — Take a Look at His Total Compensation Package Bob Jordan, who's been with the company since 1988, assumed the role 10 months before the meltdown.

By Amanda Breen

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Bloomberg | Getty Images

Southwest Airlines made headlines last December amid a full-blown travel service disaster that left many passengers stranded and without their luggage.

Just 10 months before the debacle, in February 2022, Bob Jordan took over as the airline's CEO and received a 75% pay increase, CNN Business reported.

Related: Man Emotionally Reunites With Luggage After Southwest Disaster

Between December 21 and 29, Southwest canceled 16,700 flights, derailing holiday plans for tens of thousands of passengers and costing the airline approximately $800 million in lost revenue, per the outlet.

Much of the problem was attributed to the airline's outdated crew-scheduling system, which made it difficult to contact the pilots and flight attendants required to reschedule flights. In a bid to prevent another meltdown, Jordan told attendees at the J. P. Morgan Industrials Conference that Southwest has created a "tactical action plan" to address the underlying issues, USA Today reported.

Jordan, who's been with the airline since 1988 and served as executive vice president in charge of corporate services since July 2017 before his current role, received a total compensation package of $5.3 million in 2022 — a significant increase over the $3 million he earned in 2021, per CNN Business.

Related: Southwest Sued in Class Action Over Holiday Flight Cancellations

Southwest's former CEO Gary Kelly received $5.1 million in 2022, acting as CEO in January and executive chairman for the remainder of the year; he received $5.8 million in 2021 and $9.8 million in 2020.

Amanda Breen

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior Features Writer

Amanda Breen is a senior features writer at She is a graduate of Barnard College and received an MFA in writing at Columbia University, where she was a news fellow for the School of the Arts.

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