LaPaige
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Working Positions For Cabin Crew On US Carriers

Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:20 pm

At some airlines in Europe, for instance LH and BA, cabin crew choose their working positions according to seniority. At SK, the different positions are discussed in briefing and cabin crew choose randomly.

Seeing as seniority seems to be very important amongst US carriers (for both flight and cabin crew), especially when bidding for trips and relocation, is it also included when choosing working positions onboard for cabin crew?
La Paige
 
deltairlines
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RE: Working Positions For Cabin Crew On US Carriers

Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:26 pm

Quoting LaPaige (Thread starter):

Seeing as seniority seems to be very important amongst US carriers (for both flight and cabin crew), especially when bidding for trips and relocation, is it also included when choosing working positions onboard for cabin crew?

I know that is the case for the PMNW Flight Attendants at Delta - highest seniority position gets to choose what position they want to work in the cabin, and it goes down from there.
 
PI767
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RE: Working Positions For Cabin Crew On US Carriers

Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:09 pm

At Southwest, I can tell you that you bid for position when you are bidding for your schedule the following months. I know flight attendants at Southwest who bid trips strictly based on position. When the schedules for the next month are awarded, the flight attendants on every trip have the same position all month. There is no discussion on the day of the trip as to who will be working what position....that is something already decided on when bids are awarded. I have a friend at Southwest who is fairly junior at her base and she will only bid for the A position. The days of the week she works are less important than her flying A.....so when she bids....she only bids for A position. When she shows up for work, she may be the most junior flight attendant on a trip, but the senior FAs cannot decide they want to be A.

I have a friend at American who tells me it is the same there. He bids a specific position in coach only on the MD80 and when he gets his schedule for the next month....thats what he holds. The day of the trip, no one can tell him they want his position.

So at least at Southwest and American....positions are one of the things included in the following months bid process.
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rolypolyman
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RE: Working Positions For Cabin Crew On US Carriers

Sat Sep 03, 2011 11:36 pm

So which positions in a cabin are considered desirable, from the spectrum of single-class domestic all the way up to mixed-class international? I can see first-class being the obvious choice for an international flight, but maybe the tradeoff is having to supply a much higher level of service, frequent top-offs, frequent snacks and meals, etc.
 
david21487
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RE: Working Positions For Cabin Crew On US Carriers

Sun Sep 04, 2011 1:13 am

Quoting rolypolyman (Reply 3):
So which positions in a cabin are considered desirable, from the spectrum of single-class domestic all the way up to mixed-class international? I can see first-class being the obvious choice for an international flight, but maybe the tradeoff is having to supply a much higher level of service, frequent top-offs, frequent snacks and meals, etc.

It just depends on your preference - and we can all go into detail on why we like or dislike certain positions. It's funny because some of my favorite positions are the ones that a lot of people hate.

When you sign-up for positions on an international PMDL flight, you usually end up working in Business going in one direction and working coach going the other, so unless you're able to swap with another f/a or get one of the few positions that stays the same in both directions, you'll end up working both classes by the time the trip is over. My preference is to work coach going overseas and to work in Business Class on the return flight during the day.

There's one position that just about everyone seems to hate: "Y3 / B3" (but ironically, they're my favorites)

The "Y3" position is an Economy/Duty Free position. Selling Duty Free is something that most people hate to do. It doesn't bother me at all because I've come to the realization that people don't really buy that much and when they do, I get a commission check (it may be like $0.26 but that's alright). I also like that position because selling Duty Free ensures that I get the second rest break. You wake up from break, you do your pre-arrival service and you land. The one thing I do hate about it is that one of your requirements is doing forms. I don't particularly care to do forms. US arrival forms, foreign forms, it doesn't matter.

The "B3" position is the BusinessElite galley position. I love the galley position, but I think most people dislike it because there's a lot of pressure on the galley person. If you're not organized or don't know what you're doing, it really screws up the flow of the service - especially on the 767-400 where 5 people work out of one galley. Not only that but, you work very closely with the Purser who may or may not be a crazy person on a power-trip.

On the 747, the upper deck is usually the place to be, but it's a lot more work than people think.

When I fly domestically, I like to be the First Class assist person. The FC assist does the pre-departure beverage service on the ground, hangs jackets and assists with meals and drinks once in the air. Afterwards they help finish the service in coach. I like it because it keeps me busy but I'm not dealing with the crazy boarding process in coach and sweating through my shirt rearranging carry-on luggage. This position usually goes to the most junior person. A lot of people see it as doing "double duty" or doing more work.
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FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: Working Positions For Cabin Crew On US Carriers

Sun Sep 04, 2011 4:56 am

Quoting david21487 (Reply 4):
Not only that but, you work very closely with the Purser who may or may not be a crazy person on a power-trip.

I notice that the Pursers have wings that say as such. So do you bid to be a purser and when your the international lead your always a lead? I guess what I mean is, are Pursers pre-determained before the trip or do you pot on the tag if your the most senior on the flight? Kind of hard to word what I mean but I hope you get it.
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Elevated
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RE: Working Positions For Cabin Crew On US Carriers

Sun Sep 04, 2011 6:47 am

At my airline it's seniority based. We are all qualified to fly lead out of the gate. There is an extra two day ground training to fly only lead (position 1) and bid strictly that. There are two positions are in the "back." We can however pick up trips in open time in either the "front" or "back" of the plane. I fly lead at least once a month to stay fresh and make a little extra money.

Flight Attendants flying position 2 or 3 is all seniority and you decide right before the trip starts at sign in. Many like to fly 3 because they can be the galley Queen (in charge of all the food inventory and carts, boarding PA's, etc.) while number 2 is the runway angel that assists mostly during boarding and is in charge of a few other things once in flight. Beyond that, it gets more complicated in our roles and is behind the scenes.
 
david21487
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RE: Working Positions For Cabin Crew On US Carriers

Sun Sep 04, 2011 4:00 pm

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 5):
I notice that the Pursers have wings that say as such. So do you bid to be a purser and when your the international lead your always a lead? I guess what I mean is, are Pursers pre-determained before the trip or do you pot on the tag if your the most senior on the flight? Kind of hard to word what I mean but I hope you get it.

The gold Purser wings are only given to those flight attendants that are Purser qualified - they also have silver wings (like the rest of us) to wear when they're not flying in a leadership position.

Pursers are pre-determined prior to the trip, as it's a position that you have to bid for when you bid your monthly schedule. When you show up for your trip, you already know who the Purser and Customer Service Coordinator (the lead f/a in the economy class cabin) are going to be.

Just because you're qualified, it doesn't mean that's all you can do. Pursers can fly whatever they want - domestic or international lead positions, domestic or international regular positions and any language positions they're qualified for.
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