Why Flight Attendants Are Walking Away: Glamour in the Skies, Hardship on Ground [Roundup]

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • The Alaska lounge pancake machine, or:

  • Being a flight attendant is rough.

  • I made a similar point as Virgin exited Austin – London, leaving BA to have the route. Virgin doesn’t operate a connecting hub at Heathrow though they do sell connections.

    Virgin does not have a hub at LHR. They have a bunch of routes, but because they have cobbled together the slots one by one and British Airways won’t trade with them, they don’t have connecting banks. Sure, there are a few flights that connect here and there, but there is no organized bank structure like at nearly every other hub.

    The fact Virgin is moving more flights to Delta hubs (of course BOS and JFK are also big markets too), tells me the connectivity on the U.S. side is more useful than what they have on the beyond LHR side

  • Reminder that both Citi and Barclays will let you change your credit card statement close date – those of you spending on American Airlines cards for status can choose whether your February spend counts for the current, ending status year or for the new status year by shifting the close date.

    The American Airlines status year runs March through February, not January through December. If you want spend to count for this year, you want an end of February close date. If you want spend to count for next year, you want an early February close date.

  • The aircraft is going to be fine, just stay buckled…

  • They can just keep doing this…

  • United Nigeria has approval from its government to fly to the U.S.. It has a fleet of regional jets, yet somehow is musing about 6,000 mile flights to Houston and Dallas. And they’re being sweet talked by the Governor of Texas..?

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. Absolutely nobody likes serious turbulence. You know how many commercial jets have gone down due to turbulence? The same number of commercial widebodies that have made a successful emergency water landing – zero.

  2. Why does some text display so “scrunched.”
    The Virgin/LHR quote is only 6 spaces wide on mobile everytime. Some words get split up that shouldn’t be. It’s highly annoying and unreadable. Gary can you please fix this?

  3. Oh, and everytime you embed a Twitter box the text is cutoff but I refuse to visit Twitter to see all the text as I might get some of the stink of the owner on me.
    Oh, oh, the dictator of TX will do business with anybody, morals and ethics optional…..

  4. Re: The former FA complaints.

    Just another spoiled child complaining and wanting everything now. Of course seniority matters.

    I was an ATC once and we worked 2-2-1 shifts (2 weeks aft., 2 weeks days, and 1 week mids). Some weeks I had to work on holidays. I never bitched about it, I just did it.

    I made FPL as a GS-11 in a GS-14 facility. Did the same job, with the same hours but for far less pay. Even when I made GS-14, it was Step 1. The guy sitting next to me might have been GS-14 Step 10. Oh well.

  5. katkamalani’s complaints about work rules are what were implemented by unions and airlines after the union representatives were voted in. This is the reason that some airlines don’t have full pay before the door shuts. The rules are self serving for the longest employed union members. Higher pay offset by not paying until the doors shut is what is best for the flight attendants with the most seniority. The younger flight attendants should organize for more equitable rules but do not because some (enough along with the longest lasting flight attendants) are willing to put up with what essentially is hazing to try to stay on long enough to benefit from the rules.

  6. I refute Christian’s remark regarding successful water landings. There have been at least two; USAir which landed on the Hudson in 2009, piloted by Captain Sully Sullenberger, and S. African Airways, forced to ditch in the Indian Ocean in front of horrified beachgoers, when hijackers demanded passage to Australia, despite the captain’s insistence that they didn’t have enough fuel. Many people survived but there were also those who perished, including the hijackers due to their stupidity in not listening to the captain’s instructions that they sit down with seatbelts fastened as they went into the water. Good. They, at least, deserved to die

  7. jns,
    it isn’t a surprise that Delta with its non-union FA group was the first major US airline to add boarding pay and nearly every other unionized FA group is now asking for it.
    Not only does boarding pay disproportionately boost the pay of less senior FAs but it also send a powerful message – yet again – that a company that does all it can to keep more unions off its property is doing a better job of fixing structural compensation problems in the industry than unions can or will.
    Given that Delta is fighting for new FAs just as much as other airlines, making the job more attractive is necessary.
    In other FA news, Delta is adding about 4 or 5 new remote FA bases (I believe LAS, PHX, DFW, TPA and maybe more) in order to reduce commuting – and this benefits senior FAs more since these new bases will get some of the most efficient flying, leaving commuters from other bases to pick up less attractive lines.
    UA is doing something similar w/ new pilot bases in southern cities but it is driven as much about poaching pilots from other airlines including WN (DL might be doing the same thing w/ its FA bases).
    Airline jobs come w/ alot of “baggage” and it is possible to make just as much if not more in jobs that do not require being away from home as much. Even airport jobs are less attractive because of the long times it takes to get to the terminal where one has to “clock in”

  8. @gary: The link to the post by Miles to Memories regarding when AA points from credit cards post is incorrect, at least as regards Citi cards and how end-of-year postings were handled last March.

    Sometime in March of this year a credit of AAdvantage points, NOT miles, posted to my AA account. The credit of 3422 points from Citi was dated Feb 28, 2023, and the description in my account stated:

    “As a courtesy, we have posted a one-time deposit of the Loyalty Points you earned on purchases made between your February credit card statement closing date and February 28, 2023, the end of the 2022 AAdvantage® status qualification year.”

    This post contradicted what I had been told by an AA agent a few weeks earlier, when I knew I was on the cusp of reaching EXP status. My credit card close date was Feb 17 and in early Feb I wanted to calculate if my purchases through the end of the month would count towards 2023 status or for 2024.

    The AA agent told me that only Citi points posted to my account as of Feb 28 would be credited towards my 2023 status. Because of that (and prior to receiving the catch-up post from AA), I changed my closing date to the 26th of the month going forward. Whether the AA agent was wrong, or AA adjusted its policies after 2/28 I don’t know, but based on what happened last year, I did not need to.

  9. “ Some weeks I had to work on holidays. I never bitched about it, I just did it.”

    “We ate mud, too. And we were thankful! Now, get off my lawn!”

  10. @Ligita – I did specify commercial widebodies and a successful landing is one where nobody dies IMO.

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