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Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by uggboy, Feb 24, 2015.
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Want friendlier flight attendants? That'll cost you
so many flight attendants are unfriendly due to their own poor career choice?
Maybe the right career, but wrong pay?
They should be happy that they have a job that is desirable by a lot of people. :-:
If they quit, there's someone else out there willing to take their place.
It seems as if the Flight Attendants Union is woefully inadequate. It also seems as if the Union has not filed a complaint with the NLRB. If you are working extra hours and not being paid, the company is in violation. There are numerous cases where companies have been cited (Walmart comes to mind) by the Government for exactly this type of actions.
....until they find out that their job isn't as glamorous as they imagined. It's all about fair is fair, can't always blame the people who serve passengers, there has to be a give and take approach, a certain balance on how people are compensated and how a job is advertised, this might sound odd to some, but overall it would help in the longer term to make flying a better, more enjoyable experience for both sides.
Yes, it looks like the unions are somewhat ineffective in this respect, but then I presume their "real powers" have diminished over the years in the aviation sector, especially since all the mergers in the industry.
Those are great lines - and reminiscent of the fact that there are no lack of people in West Africa willing to be gravediggers for those dying of Ebola! Heck, if anything happens to them, there's always someone willing to take their place!
If the article in the OP is read, the writer (Heather Poole, a well-known flight attendant/blogger) describes how it's now barely possible to eek out a living wage on a flights attendant's starting salary of $18-20K per year. That's not surprising - how would you like to live on $18-20K/yr? Perhaps some of the many millions of $$ lining the airlines' corporate CEO pockets could be used to bolster flight attendant's salaries?
BTW, Ms. Poole also states that it takes about 10 years for a FA to get to the "average" annual salary of $40k. This also makes sense, given the considerable age of most US-based airlines' FAs. You may also be interested to learn that the average salary of Southwest Airlines' FAs is over 50% greater than the industry average. That's just one reason that the folks working for Southwest Airlines are rarely as "toxic" as those working for their competitors!
I am curious to see what is the perspective from FAs of non-US airlines. The stories that I've read about FA are guardrails to guardrails. There is a story posted by the Points Guy about Emirates FA experience, and it was bad. But then, there are other stories about Emirates that are opposite of what was posted by the Points Guy.
I don't deny the low pay. I am quite sure Ms Poole are telling the truth. What I am having trouble reconciling is that if I compare the services that I get from a US-based FA vs some Asian-based carriers, there is no comparison. I've flown on Asiana, JAL, Garuda, Singapore, Cathay, China Airlines, Xiamen Air, and Air China, and on all of them, the services I received are superior. Is that a sign that Asian carrier pay their FA higher? I don't think so, but feel free to tell me if I was wrong.
Fine, that'll also cost you once I fly with another airline.
Not likely. Cathay (not familiar with the other ones) has had union disputes over pay raises for years. I don't believe FA pays are higher in Asia compared to US, but it also has to do with the culture in Asia over job security, customer service, and training.
I do know that they get a lot more training than US carriers, and that they're also easier to 'dispose' if they do something wrong, regardless of it being a small thing or huge.
Hence FA's are more cautious when they deal with pax.
The following article hardly portrays working as an FA for most Mideast airlines in a positive light. Read especially "A Climate of Fear: Life as a Qatar Airways Flight Attendant" at the end of this webpage:
Just want to share some opinions.
Lots of jobs have expectations that might be deemed silly in other industry.
At one end, you have a strictly enforced code of conduct for military personnel (all over the world). They too are employed but have heavily "reduced" rights for the duration of their employment. Their movements are periodically tracked and conduct on and off duty deemed unprofessional are grounds for dismissal.
Similarly, bankers may have intimate relationships with their clients but not doctors nor teachers (regardless of the student's age).
I believe that most of large corporate companies hiring practices are known whether popular or not and the employee has a choice.
Exceptions does exist
Another example is that a ex-felon may be denied jobs in certain industries. Is that discrimination or just prudent practice?
I am guessing pay has a little to do with it, but lets look at some numbers at 20k a year, that is only $9.60 an hour based on 40hr work week. It isn't too hard to find a job that makes that much, even so with Wal-Mart coming in at $9 shortly moving to $10 next year.
But nevermind the hourly rate, what about the airline making billions and employees seeing little of that, so you could go the route United did at become employee owned.
Now if you know anything about the bankruptcy it was pretty ugly. You can blame quite a bit including giving raises to pilots from the IAM not helping get a loan. Now they furloughed a lot of employeees and killed the esop. Now as a result I know the pension got cut 20-50% depending on who you were, not to mention any of your value from being employee owned got canceled.
Take all that into consideration and how happy are you going to be having worked for a company and easily 70% of your retirement is gone, you're not going to be happy. I am not sure how the how bad others were such as Delta, but I do know AA ch11 wasn't too bad and I think United still has the biggest default on a pension on record.
Gosh the Flight Attendants on ANA are very nice.. I have had a few UA Codeshares on ANA, and have received wonderful service. They smile, offer snacks and drinks when not even asked and most of all they are so friendly. Thanks and Safe Travels
Speaking of friendly Japanese flight attendants...
You won't find a greater sense of entitlement than with the American workforce in my opinion. We are going through retraining at Amtrak to provide a better customer experience, and I find myself floored by what some people say - that we are understaffed and underpaid, when in fact the price of our very labor is likely to kill our own jobs within the next five years. We are understaffed - less people working on board than ever and our revenue needs to grow enormously to become sustainable as a business, but whining about it won't fix it, and customer service is the name of the game.
It's hard to get up in the morning after 5 hours of crappy sleep on a wafer thin mattress in a moving room smaller than an average home powder room, then stand on your feet for 16 hours trying to smile and answer the same questions for hundreds of people... but it's the life I chose, and if I don't like it, I should vacate my own position, find a new job (which I likely cannot for equal pay and time off), and let an eager unemployed person take my place.
Again... as tough as it can be to be nice when you're hungry and tired and feeling overworked... guess what? Flight attendants signed up for their job just like I did, and providing a good customer experience should be right under safety in their job description. Don't like your job? 500 people will line up to do it in your stead.
And that's why I'd make a lousy manager...
As far as unions go, much of what the airlines can set as their work rules is based on the Railway and Airline Labor Act. Working 16 hour days for no overtime is part of that. If more people were unwilling to work under these conditions, there would be more push for change, but I for one would rather smash the 195 hours I work in a month into the 12 days I actually work (3 trips, 4 days each) so I can enjoy the other 18 days of the month on a tropical beach or at least enjoy it at home. That's the tradeoff.
A big part of my past careers and even the job requires me to manage customers.
I too have many gripes about the system / organization / process / compensation / fairness etc and some are downright depressing.
Still, I prep myself and the team (frequently) to remind ourselves that we are in the line of serving customers.
At least part of our job is to serve customers (all jobs actually do)
Like it of not, we should be professional and "suck it up" and do not let our problem become the customer's problem
Ironically, those who truly have no choice (stuck in the only job available) are less likely to grumble as they know the alternative is worse.
Those who cry foul the loudest in a lot of times have the choice but chose instead to stay with the current job.
Lots of different reasons and they can be anything from the honest realisation (deep down) that they will do worse elsewhere or just worried of change.
Change can be intimidating and work loads may increase (always does) but if you are set against them from the start, it just hurts everyone around you, but mostly yourself as you have to drag yourself to work everyday.
One of my biggest reason for sticking around my current job although lots have left is that I really like my current boss and frequently go beyond and step up my game as I support him and appreciate his trust. I also like the side benefits like opportunities to travel Some of my colleagues sees it differently though (the occasional travelling)