dfwjim1
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Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:17 pm

My wife has a friend who has worked for American Airlines as a flight attendant for two years. Recently she was complaining to my wife that she is not getting enough hours at AA and it is affecting her finances. My wife's friend speaks English, Portuguese and Spanish and is based out of MIA but over the last several months has tried to avoid international trips and focus on just domestic routes. Is there a way, with some effort on her part, to get more hours doing domestic runs or will she have to go back to picking up international runs?


I am not any kind of any expert on how flight attendant schedules work so I wanted to reach out to the experts on this forum. Thanks for your help.
 
Jo8338
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:35 pm

Yea, pick up weekends / holidays to longer runs like LAX that normally go very senior during the week.
 
toobz
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:38 pm

Well if you are going to be picky about the routes you fly..I’m not sure what to say. It seems they have enough hours to give, but this person doesn’t want to fly certain flights, i.e. international. My advice to this person is to take whatever flights they give them and that in turn will bring the paycheck that they need. As a side note, It’s unusual to not want international flights. Better hours and less flying but to each their own.
 
OB1504
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:54 pm

toobz wrote:
As a side note, It’s unusual to not want international flights. Better hours and less flying but to each their own.


Especially given their language qualifications.
 
flyguy84
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:02 pm

What?
SFO
 
Galwayman
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:03 pm

It’s simply a case of not being so picky or being prepared to pick up some shifts at kfc ...
 
airtran737
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:26 pm

She’s getting paid guarantee every month. It’s on her to use her days off and pick up open time or use PBS to trade her trips for something better.
Nice Trip Report!!! Great Pics, thanks for posting!!!! B747Forever
 
Ryanair01
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:04 pm

AA guarantee a minimum number of paid hours. You bid for groups of shifts and they are awarded by seniority. She sounds like she's very junior, so there is a good chance that she'll just get the minimum hours (because someone more senior will have bid for everything else). To be honest it doesn't really matter what she bids for, as she'll probably simply end up with left overs no matter what. All you can do is look to pick up open trips where possible, which language qualification can be helpful with.
 
PI4EVER
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:13 pm

This young lady will likely not get much sympathy from this forum of "experts" who know how to make the system work.
As a 2 year F/A based in then expensive SFO and later DCA, I worked my butt off to pick up extra trips & I made good money from trades and
trip costs I got from my normal bid. I was young and could handle long duty hours and days. I suspect she has reason to want to do mostly domestic runs to get back to MIA that favors long international turns to would get her many extra hours. Pick your battle. Money or social life & time off.
I can't imagine in a base like MIA she'd have any trouble picking up trips on weekends or committing to 2 international trips a month.
Sign me up. I'd do it again in a heartbeat if I was back in my late 20's. :old:
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usflyer msp
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:19 pm

If she only wants to fly domestic, MIA is the worst possible hub to be based in. If she only wants domestic she should commute to CLT /ORD/WAS for her trips.
 
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TVNWZ
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:20 pm

OP looking for enlightened tips. Mostly gets ridicule. Pathetic.
 
flight152
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:24 pm

TVNWZ wrote:
OP looking for enlightened tips. Mostly gets ridicule. Pathetic.

Seeing as she’s worked there two years, I’m guessing she has an idea as to making extra money at work, not some aviation enthusiast forum.
 
usflyer msp
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:36 pm

TVNWZ wrote:
OP looking for enlightened tips. Mostly gets ridicule. Pathetic.


I really don't see any ridicule here. FA's are paid by the hour so the only solution is to fly more and part of flying more means she can't be picky about the destination. Most of the Caribbean runs are day trips from MIA, she would never have to leave the plane. Maybe she should try some of those.
 
hiflyeras
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:19 pm

Thought it was good advice for a two-year FA. She's apparently not on Reserve so should count her lucky stars she can hold a line at only two years. Her problem is probably she's being awarded low average-daily-credit trips over the weekends and there's not much to pick up on weekdays. Pay your dues and it'll get better...or maybe it's not the career for her.
 
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:28 pm

TVNWZ wrote:
OP looking for enlightened tips. Mostly gets ridicule. Pathetic.


Ridicule, no. Reality, yes. The friend is a junior FA who also happens to be extremely particular about what lines she'll accept; complaining about not getting enough hours is a direct result of being not senior enough to hold what she wants, combined with being unwilling to bid the lines that will provide extra hours.

When you're junior, something's got to give; you accept which part of the work/life balance is most important to you.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:32 pm

hiflyeras wrote:
maybe it's not the career for her.


This.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
stlgph
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:38 pm

TVNWZ wrote:
OP looking for enlightened tips. Mostly gets ridicule. Pathetic.


For real?

it's like the waitress who won't work weekends and will only work days and then wonder why she's in the corner, first cut station every station when she works.

Come. On. People.
if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
 
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HeyTK
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:32 pm

Here I am trying to get hired as FA for a while and being more than happy to be send wherever they want me to and work my butt off. Its hard to see others in that position but not loving their job as much as I would. Not to be critical of her but just saying.
 
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TVNWZ
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:37 pm

stlgph wrote:
TVNWZ wrote:
OP looking for enlightened tips. Mostly gets ridicule. Pathetic.


For real?

it's like the waitress who won't work weekends and will only work days and then wonder why she's in the corner, first cut station every station when she works.

Come. On. People.


Yes for real. Her husband asked saying he did not know how it works. Poor guy trying to help his sweetie and you throw shade...at her. Wow.
 
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chepos
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:48 pm

stlgph wrote:
TVNWZ wrote:
OP looking for enlightened tips. Mostly gets ridicule. Pathetic.


For real?

it's like the waitress who won't work weekends and will only work days and then wonder why she's in the corner, first cut station every station when she works.

Come. On. People.


Preach, when hired in the airline industry you are told you will most probably be working weekends/holidays and the suckiest trips for some time. It’s part of the job, when you are junior you can’t be picky. She needs to be thnakfhl she got a job in the industry, you know how many thousand applicants get rejected every time they open for hiring?
Fly the Flag!!!!
 
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:49 pm

TVNWZ wrote:
Her husband asked saying he did not know how it works. Poor guy trying to help his sweetie and you throw shade...at her. Wow.


How's the view from your high horse?

The OP stated that his wife's friend - not his "sweetie" - is complaining about not getting enough hours, to the point of impacting finances, then states in the same post that she's only willing to accept certain work. Regardless of knowing how flight attendant schedules work, isn't it kind of a given that if you're not willing to work certain hours, that would limit your income opportunities?

OP, we're not mocking you; we're just pointing out that the obvious answer to her lack of hours is, "Well, try being more flexible and working more!"

After all, that's one of the number one things expected of any flight attendant, which is made clear during the interview process - flexibility. Nights, weekends, holidays, you're going to miss school plays, the birthdays, etc.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
TW870
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:53 pm

There are several reasons that she may not be able to pick up enough hours.

1. It is the winter low season. There is less flying in the whole system, and trip pickups go in seniority order. If there isn't a lot in open flying, she may not be getting the request she makes. It should improve a bit with the mid-winter Argentina and Brazil high season in the MIA base.
2. They may be overstaffed at MIA. Sometimes airlines process transfers and new hires into bases a bit in advance of retirements and new flying additions, which can make it difficult for flight attendants to pick up time above guarantee.
3. She may have a junior line and already be flying weekends. That means that she would be trying to pick up time mid-week, which is always harder because there is usually less flying in open time on the weekends.

This time of year is slow, and I certainly remember making only guarantee at UA in the late 90s on reserve at ORD. Summer is a far different story. But bottom line that there are many operational reasons that drive down line values in November and December.
 
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TVNWZ
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:53 pm

View is pretty good actually..
 
WayexTDI
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:58 pm

TVNWZ wrote:
stlgph wrote:
TVNWZ wrote:
OP looking for enlightened tips. Mostly gets ridicule. Pathetic.


For real?

it's like the waitress who won't work weekends and will only work days and then wonder why she's in the corner, first cut station every station when she works.

Come. On. People.


Yes for real. Her husband asked saying he did not know how it works. Poor guy trying to help his sweetie and you throw shade...at her. Wow.

FYI, the FA is OP's wife's friend; not OP's wife...
 
geologyrocks
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:36 am

TVNWZ wrote:
stlgph wrote:
TVNWZ wrote:
OP looking for enlightened tips. Mostly gets ridicule. Pathetic.


For real?

it's like the waitress who won't work weekends and will only work days and then wonder why she's in the corner, first cut station every station when she works.

Come. On. People.


Yes for real. Her husband asked saying he did not know how it works. Poor guy trying to help his sweetie and you throw shade...at her. Wow.


I don’t know much about FA bidding. With that being said, I’m an ATC. We get trainees that come in the door with their sad stories about not wanting to work Christmas, Friday nights, etc...

Guess what? Tough ****. It’s no secret that aviation is a 24/7/365 gig. Suck it up, pay your dues, and get better schedules.
 
dfwjim1
Topic Author
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:52 am

From the OP...I was talking to my wife's friend the other day and she has done some MIA-LAX runs but said that the passengers on this route are very picky and demanding. As a side note it was her dream job to be a FA but after 2 years it seems like she is getting somewhat bitter towards the traveling public. Is this normal for a FA after they have some tenure on the job?
 
AY104
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:09 am

Wow! This sounds kind of like years ago, when I worked for the airlines. We would often hear complaints of employees with very little seniority who had to work weekends and holidays! It takes years, sometimes decades, working for airlines before one can get even one weekend day off, let alone holidays like Christmas etc.
Anyway, maybe it is a poor analogy. But it would seem to me that when this person was hired, they were asked a lot of questions, including routes both domestic and international.
If she is already getting bitter toward the travelling public, then it is time to look for a new career. The majority of us who have worked for the airlines have had to put up with everything that this FA is complaining about. And a lot of us carried on for decades. I am very sorry dfwjim1 that you have been caught up in this FA's issues.
The only thing a customer should expect for his/her loyalty is good service
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:14 am

I refer everyone to the Non-Aviation forum where everyone is bemoaning the fact women make less than men despite mountains of study explaining why that is so. Here is another data point.

GF
 
usflyer msp
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:51 am

dfwjim1 wrote:
From the OP...I was talking to my wife's friend the other day and she has done some MIA-LAX runs but said that the passengers on this route are very picky and demanding. As a side note it was her dream job to be a FA but after 2 years it seems like she is getting somewhat bitter towards the traveling public. Is this normal for a FA after they have some tenure on the job?


If she is this burned out after a just two years she should alternate employment ASAP. If she thinks MIA-LAX is bad - there are plenty worse (NYC-PBI; any flight to Israel or India). Working with the public is not for everyone.
 
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:03 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
I refer everyone to the Non-Aviation forum where everyone is bemoaning the fact women make less than men despite mountains of study explaining why that is so. Here is another data point.

GF


Not to mention the fact that male and female flight attendants earn the same rates of pay per their collective bargaining agreements.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
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chepos
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:40 am

This lady is burnt out after two years? She needs another job.
Fly the Flag!!!!
 
crj900lr
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:01 am

dfwjim1 wrote:
From the OP...I was talking to my wife's friend the other day and she has done some MIA-LAX runs but said that the passengers on this route are very picky and demanding. As a side note it was her dream job to be a FA but after 2 years it seems like she is getting somewhat bitter towards the traveling public. Is this normal for a FA after they have some tenure on the job?



It may be time for a new career for her. She knew what she was getting into when she applied just like everyone else in her class did. If she can't handle a MIA-LAX flight then she for sure is not going to be able to handle a International flight if she ever decides she can fit it into her schedule. It sounds to me as if she will never be satisfied unless she is able to pick her exact schedule that she wants. Guess what, this is the airline industry, it does not work like that. It's always the worst when you first get in, do your time, move up and things will get better. If she can't understand that then she should resign and let another person who wants to be a F/A and will enjoy it more get the job.
 
Woodreau
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:14 am

Normally a flight crew member bids for a schedule and gets paid for whatever schedule he or she is awarded for the month.

If a crewmember isn't awarded any flying for the month, there is a minimum monthly guarantee a flight crewmember gets paid. For example for this month I was only assigned 4 block hours of flying. It would be tough to live on just 4 hours of pay for the month, but my contractual minimum monthly guarantee is 72 hours. So I was paid 72 hours for the month November even though I only flew 4 hours (This is not normal - its just how it worked out)

If you (pilot/flight attendant) were awarded a schedule with 80 hours of flying, but for whatever reason decided you didn't like the trips or you didn't want to work it, whatever you drop or trade away is deducted from your minimum guarantee. So if you drop two 4-day trips worth 20 hours each, your minimum pay is now 80 minus 20 minus 20 = 40 hours (because you dropped a trip worth 20 hours and a second trip worth another 20 hours of flying)

So in your friend's instance, it appears she is dropping trips off her schedule which causes her to go below contractual guarantee. In theory you should budget your finances to your contractual guarantee, but the airline is not obligated to pay the crewmember if the crewmember drops the trips off her schedule.
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Miamiairport
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sun Dec 02, 2018 3:35 pm

People that take the FA job for the travel either won’t last or be miserable. This job doesn’t seem to be for her.
 
e38
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:18 pm

jim, with reference to your wife's friend, you have received a lot of good information from folks who have experience with flight attendant schedules, pay rates, and bidding. I do not have much to add.

I think what your wife's friend is going through is very common. It is not unusual for the "reality" of a job to fall short of the "expectation" of that job. That can be true in any profession and it is also not uncommon that over time, the tasks become more mundane and the employee loses a certain enthusiasm for the job. However, I do not think she needs to quit her job immediately. What I do think she needs to do is to give herself a certain amount of time from this point--perhaps a year from now, and decide by the end of 2019 whether she is willing to accept the things she doesn't like about the job compared to the things she finds enjoyable. It may help for her to keep a "pros/cons" log and fill it in after each of her trips.

A year's time may allow her time to experience some improvements to her schedule. As TW870 stated in Reply # 20, this may be a "low time" in American's schedule for picking up additional trips and it's possible her crew base is overstaffed. A year may allow her to determine if this changes and improves.

As Woodreau stated in Reply # 33, it's important for her to budget her finances based upon her contractual guarantee. Sure, it would be nice if she could increase her income by picking up extra trips, but as you are aware, the extra flying just doesn't seem to be available right now. If she cannot make ends meet by flying the contractual guarantee without dropping trips, then perhaps she does need to find another job that pays more.

As a two year flight attendant at American, she is still very junior and must accept the limitations with regard to schedules, pay, duty. Seniority will come, but as others have stated, it will take some time. From your initial post, it does sounds as though she may be somewhat choosy with the schedules she wants to work; as a junior crewmember, that may not be possible.

Finally, I don't think she should judge the routes she wants to fly based on a few instances. With reference to your comment, "she has done some MIA-LAX runs but said that the passengers on this route are very picky and demanding." That could be very isolated. It's possible she could fly MIA-LAX tomorrow and find the passengers pleasant and enjoyable.

You asked, " Is this normal for a FA after they have some tenure on the job?"

Yes, tell her to give it a little more time, and have "realistic" expectations. There are very few jobs out there where people either love everything about the job or love the job all the time. (yes, there are some, but not many).

e38
 
dfwjim1
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:22 pm

Thank you for the very nicely written response, e38. My wife's friend put a lot of time and effort to become a flight attendant at A.A. so I would hate for her to give up on her dream in such a short time.
 
Canuck600
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Re: Flight attendant at AA not getting enough hours

Mon Dec 03, 2018 5:08 am

Sometimes the dream of what the job is like & the true reality of the job is like aren't even close. To me that sounds like the case here. If she's not willing to adjust to the realities of what it takes to make a decent living & is tired of the crappy parts after two years it might be wise to look elsewhere.

Have a friend in somewhat similar situation he dreamed of being a transit driver in a major Canadian city, after 3 years of the reality of it he decided it wasn't for him.

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