American Airlines is furloughing 8100 flight attendants. There’s less travel demand, they need to operate fewer flights, and that means fewer employees to work those flights.
But that’s not all that’s changing at American. The airline is staffing fewer flight attendants on each widebody plane and also reducing staffing on their premium cross country Airbus A321T. They’re saving on labor not just because they have fewer flights, but also because they’re offering less service on each flight.
The American Airlines flight attendants union has just let cabin crew know how reduced staffing is going to spread out their work.
- Boeing 777-300ER goes from 13 flight attendants to 11 They’re having the pursuer help out in first class “through table linens” and then help out in business and “all Galley positions will flex to aisle.”
- Boeing 777-200 goes from 10 flight attendants to 9 with two flight attendant positions getting added duties.
- Boeing 787-9 will have 9 flight attendants with the ‘FA5’ working the galley also help serve in business class, ‘FA2’ working the galley help cover coach, and the ‘FA3’ will “cover both aisles from the aft working forward.”
- Airbus A321T goes from 6 flight attendants to 5. The purser will work both the first class galley and cabin, business class galley flight attendant also serve the cabin, and the ‘FA4’ position will help out in both premium cabins “when complete in Main Cabin.”
Boeing 787-9 Business Class
This is a plan not just to fly less, but to offer less. Flight attendants are unhappy because it means each one working international and premium domestic flights will be working more during each trip, without being paid more.
American Airlines already reduced flight attendant staffing on Boeing 777-200 in March 2018, so this is a further reduction. Boeing 787-8s are already at minimum legal staffing levels.