The paycheque-to-paycheque life of a flight attendant

Discussion in 'Air Canada | Aeroplan' started by ACMM, Oct 16, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. ACMM
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  2. igloocoder
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    igloocoder Silver Member

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    I had the same feeling when I read that yesterday. For the last 2 years my minimum number of flights per week has been the same as her maximum per month. I spend less days at home than she does working. These are choices I made. Likewise, the FA in question has made the choice not to sacrifice the time with her kids/family in exchange for more pay. Welcome to the real world folks. We make choices that have positive, and negative, consequences.
     
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  3. global_happy_traveller
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    a lot of us live paycheque and paycheques too.....
     
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  4. Valentine

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    Don't flight attendants get paid an additional allowance per flight, and have their layover accommodation covered by the airline?

    Though I suppose it varies per company.
     
  5. Jimgotkp
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    Yup! However, I feel most MPers and FTers are more well off when it comes to finances from what I've noticed.
     
  6. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    Yup. I make less than her, but I work 50-60 hours a week (down for 60-80 when I was just starting grad school). You work long hours and give up money, but I can also say "f--- this" and take Wednesday and Thursday off if I feel like it to fly to London for a day. :D My dad works fewer hours and makes much more, but he's on call 24/7 if a server goes down (which is often). Every occupation has its compromises.

    It can be an expensive hobby, to be sure, at least if you're trying for elite status and not a points/miles bonus collector. Also I imagine most of these people are already traveling for business, which means they have jobs, and probably jobs that pay some sort of premium for all the time away from home.
     
  7. global_happy_traveller
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    its an expensive hobby for sure....... some fare better than others........ have to strategically plan my routes maximizing time/mileage requirements....but even that i am getting tired and contemplating on letting my elite status slide
     
  8. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    Exactly what I did after 16 years of Elite status......Only Tango fares booked when available.
     
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  9. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    So she basically works weekends? That doesn't seem so bad.
     
  10. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    While many on here may be doing okay, I'm sure there are those in similar circumstances...unfortunately... Of the disposable income I have, I make the choice to dedicate it to travel. ;)
     
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  11. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Wow, that's a much higher annual income than I expected for working what seems to be four weekends a month. What would she take home if she, say, worked as a waitress on the weekends?
     
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  12. kyunbit
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    kyunbit Silver Member

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    wow you are lucky! Most weeks, I have to work 90-100 hours a week and need permissions even to take off on weekends :(
     
  13. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    My old boss insisted that you had to publish a paper and then you got a month off. Otherwise no time off until the next paper. When I basically said "screw you" and moved to a new lab (for a lot of other reasons), no one had ever heard of someone doing that. It's usually the professor kicking out the student. My new one is more flexible as long as I get my work done. I get so bored after a week away, I don't know what I'd do for a month. A three- or four-day weekend every month is more my style, and I make it up anyway by working on the other weekends.
     
  14. Scottrick
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    Ah, but waitresses aren't there "for your safety." :rolleyes:
     
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  15. MSPeconomist
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    I am surprised that a carrier allows FAs to voluntarily work so few hours. Mandated training is expensive and required annually.
     
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  16. ACMM
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    Reading the article you will see she also has been on leave working for the local union local to get experience ... :rolleyes:
     
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  17. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Didn't know prison inmates had internet access these days... :D
     
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  18. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Sure. And I didn't mean to imply that FAs are doing the same job as waitresses. But I was looking for an example of a job alternative that would potentially give you the flexibility of working on weekends (or whatever days work best for a single mother in this case), healthcare benefits (well, I guess this is Canada, so it doesn't matter?), and doesn't require, say, a college degree.


    I did read that. Presumably the union dues pay for that? (or is it part of the union contract with the airline that a certain number of union officials are paid their regular company pay for doing union work?)
     
  19. ACMM
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    I have to assume that if she is on leave she is not getting paid by AC. I do not know for sure either way. She has made her decisions ...

    [From my milePoint enabled iPhone]
     
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  20. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

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    And a teacher only works 2/3rds of the year and makes $60k. What a slacker. </sarcasm>
    With apologies to HaveMiles for the snarky comment, though, I do think it's an unfair comparison.

    I think a more interesting point is that as an FA, if you want to support your family then you have no choice but to try to max out your working time. From the article:
    It used to be that in days past you could make a choice to sacrifice pay for family time (especially as a single parent), but still be able to make ends meet and still have something left over to put into savings (e.g. college savings for the kids). Due to the rise in the cost of living you don't really have that choice anymore - it's either putting your nose to the grind-stone or living paycheck to paycheck.

    Now IMHO, and to be fair to AC (and other airlines), it's not really their fault and they're also not really in a position to do anything about it. But it is interesting commentary that a lot of what we thought were "middle class jobs" are not able to support a family on their own anymore.
     
  21. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Not sure about Canada, but I think the US generally doesn't pay their teachers enough. It's an investment into our future. (of course, I also expect high quality teachers, and I certainly know some who I would disqualify)

    Indeed. Who here wants to pay more for their tickets?
     
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  22. yaychemistry

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    Ok, I'm really not trying to pick on you... but the article mentions that the FA in question has a college degree and speaks four languages.
     
  23. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Good point, and thanks for correcting me. I really do appreciate it.
     
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  24. Gaucho
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    Excellent point....
     
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  25. Gaucho
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    I still need to read the article... but maybe this is the case of the wrong person having the wrong job.... 4 languages should be able to be put to a more productive use, perhaps with just a little more additional training.
     
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