American Airlines has about 27,500 flight attendants. I broke the news three weeks ago that American could furlough as many as 30% of its flight attendants and 20% of its pilots.
American Airlines plans to send WARN Act notices to 8000 flight attendants, or 29% of the total work group.
My rough back of the envelope calculation is that the current average age of an American Airlines flight attendant is 48 years old. One flight attendant is over 85, and one flight attendant has been working for more than 60 years (they’re not the same person).
Here are demographics of American Airlines flight attendants (age and seniority):
On a straight seniority basis 8000 furloughs will include nearly every flight attendant under 40 years old and some in the first half of their 40s. And it will include nearly every flight attendant hired in the last 10 years. Every one hired since US Airways management took over, though, can expect to be let go. And after the 8000 least senior flight attendants are furloughed, my back of the envelope is that the average flight attendant age at American Airlines will be 56 years old.
Of course the airline maintains that it hopes to eliminate or limit the need for furloughs through voluntary leaves and early retirements. However they don’t appear to have been nearly as successful attracting candidates for this as Delta reports to have been, and their package isn’t nearly as generous as Southwest’s.