‘Snitches on a Plane’: Some American Airlines Flight Attendants Complain About New Inflight LOSA Monitoring

American Airlines is sending auditors on flights to monitor flight attendant safety performance. It’s a partnership with the flight attendants union – which doesn’t appear to have asked for anything in return, despite being in protracted negotiations and reporting out to members little progress.

Some flight attendants are calling LOSA-C, the Line Operations Safety Audit-Cabin program the “snitch” program. It was announced this was coming 15 months ago and was supposed to start this past fall, but the airline is only just now recruiting flight attendant observers for it:

Flight attendants observe other cabin crew work their flights and file reports without identifying the crewmember or flight. They only collect safety-related observations and flight attendants can’t get in trouble for what’s been documented. Observers have to get the consent of all crew to monitor the flight. It’s not a ‘check ride’ monitoring how crew perform their service duties.

According to the union, this is how the program works:

1. An APFA line-qualified Flight Attendant, who has been trained as a Cabin LOSA Observer, selects a flight to observe.
2. The Cabin LOSA observer will introduce themselves, explain the Cabin LOSA Program, and ask all Flight Attendants if they would like to participate in the program.
3. If all Flight Attendants say yes, the Cabin LOSA observer will occupy a passenger seat (Cabin LOSA observers will never take a jumpseat from a commuting Flight Attendant), and the observers must receive a yes to observe the flight from every member of the crew. If one crew member objects, no observation will take place.
4. The Cabin LOSA observer will not interfere with crew duties. The observation is confidential, and the observer does not record the flight number, date of the observation, or any employee information.
5. Once the observation is over, there is no debrief – the observer will thank you for allowing them to observe and may offer you the opportunity to provide crew comments.

Some crew find working in new domestic ‘Oasis’ galleys, that have limited workspace (because it’s been condensed to make room for more seats) challenging enough as it is and are uncomfortable with the program set up to watch them work. American highlights that it hopes to see lower insurance costs out of the program, improved employee morale (?), and lower costs from workplace injuries. Here is one such communication:

Crew don’t seem to entirely believe the company that participation is voluntary, and that refusals are kept anonymous. Several call it the ‘snitch program’ in social media and private groups.

American Airlines is not monitoring cabin crew service. There’s no report on whether they serve predeparture beverages, address customers by name, or hang jackets in first class. After all, they believe flight attendants are here primarily for your safety.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. The program IS NOT anonymous, the company clearly knows the flights that are being observed and can easily identify any flight attendants that are reported. The fact that they pretend that this is anonymous is ridiculous.

  2. I’m a previous Flight attendant. I Think it’s an excellent program!
    Do they have jobs for this
    Position for ex Flight attendant.

  3. So let me get this right
    The company is sending people on flights to make sure you are doing your job correctly, you know when they are on board so you should be following all the rules yet youbare angry? Just do your job follow the rules and cool no issues

  4. Whether it’s safety or service related, announcing that there’s an observer doesn’t help as they will be on their “best behavior “. If GOV or airline leadership really want to observer what’s going on, the LOSA will be unknown and the crew’s uninformed behavior and demonstrative safety and service skills can truly be tested.

  5. As Yogi once said “dja vu”all over again!! American once had.a secret flyer dubbed Casper aka Casper the flying Ghost. I was once tagged as.him given at that time I was flying American slot transcontinental

  6. This is an excellent program and this is a perfect example of the horribly negative attitude that AA flight attendants have. For goodness sake, it’s jointly monitored by the union and non-punitive. The flight attendants should be welcoming this, to see if there is anything they overlooked. And after the 14 year old died because they apparently were slow to react and didn’t know how to operate the defribilators is a perfect example of why this program should be in place systemwide, ASAP, I should add! I’m about done with the flight attendant attitude which is all too common at this airline, and now doubt they deserve the raises they are demanding. Time for them to take an attitude check. Is the airline (and us passengers paying) to please them, or is the customer first? I don’t think it’s wrong at all for the airline to put safety and the customer first.

  7. Mr. President of America Airlines in Ft. Worth, TX. Make American Airlines a Profitable Airlines for the Great Many Stockholders you must start a plan to cut 25,000 Positions across the World. Mostly in Ft. Worth, Texas. Count your working Planes compared to Delta and You must get this Stock up to $40 to have a Viable Successful Business.

  8. Will be glad to volunteer as a “Casper” passenger any time. A crew member once got upset because I asked her for an extra packet of sugar.. I really never thought airline crew members have bad attitudes. You are all the “selected few” cute people with brains. So why the bad attitude…??!

  9. I agree with others…. The attitude of attendants is getting worse. Doesn’t matter if you fly first or economy , you are not treated as a paying customer or they are there to serve . If they hate their job don’t do it. It’s very obvious who they are . People with status are treated poorly.

  10. Mr leff,
    Of all the adjectives in the dictionary…”snitches” is the best ?? Why? This is what promotes discord in our world and among our youth. It’s not a professional word rather street slang that Induces fear and does excite do harm maybe.
    It’s definitely not cute, maybe eye catching and teeth sucking. The demise of writing and reporting continues.
    Everyone that Flys should be aware of each independent flight attendant and their prospective demeanor but people should also understand the level of psychological frustration that also comes with the job. As a Afghanistan war veteran, empathy matters. Most people are not crawling out their beds with the attitude sometimes received why flying, but it’s people who cause other people undue stress on their jobs, any jobs.
    If we as citizens would change our flying demeanor it’s less likely it will feel personal. People should get off their phones and really watch the total bull that goes on today as air transportation continues to soar.
    Maurine Taylor Ford

  11. What are these flight attendants scared of? They can’t be there usial nasty miserable rude selves? Good now airlines will know how their employees are really treating customers it should start from the gate agent on up

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