The American airline industry has seen its fair share of bankruptcies and mergers, but the era of the megabankruptcy seems to be finally behind us—at least for the moment. That’s good news for the passengers, who reap the benefits of lower fares and more frequent flights. But who’s giving up what to make it happen? For example, many American Airlines fans are still raving about the airline’s new “merger livery” and its innovative A321T jets. But the airline is also losing 104 flight attendants to other airlines as part of a post-chapter 11 bankruptcy deal. The flight attendants will reportedly be absorbed by Delta Airlines.

The largest US carrier has sent notice that it’s recalling 104 flight attendants who have been on “involuntary furlough” since September. The move comes in response to a new law that requires airlines to expand their staffs for long-haul flights, and is intended to help the company comply with the new requirements. Some flight attendants have expressed their displeasure with the move, claiming it will result in a shortage of staff during the busy summer travel season.

American Airlines recruits 104 flight attendants forservice

Gary Leff 28. April 2021

We have a great man to thank for the end of service in the United States. The economist Milton Friedman is the father of the volunteer army. Under the Nixon administration, he chaired a commission that concluded that military service should be abolished, and the Nobel laureate, often caricatured and vilified by the left, became an anti-war hero.

One might have hoped, of course, that the increased cost of war to the state would reduce the number of wars, but that does not seem to have happened. But Friedman was certainly right that the United States could defend itself without depriving (then exclusively) young men of their freedom. Friedman said the end of conscription was his greatest achievement.

If there is now a volunteer army in the United States, can the same be said of the American Airlines flight attendant corps? In early April, I wrote that the airline was considering asking flight attendants to return to work.

  • To reduce costs, the airline encouraged cabin crew to take holidays (while receiving the full amount of the wage subsidy from the government).
  • However, these holidays may be cancelled at the airline’s discretion. And now that they need flight attendants for the increased summer program, that’s exactly what they’re doing.

Being a fly girl is still voluntary, of course. No flight attendant would go to jail for a flight denial, they would just lose their job and their seniority with the airline.

American has recalled all of its flight attendants (which, by the way, is like admitting that the government’s third bailout, Payroll Support Program 3, was unnecessary). Even then, it’s not enough. The 200 flight attendants who had taken voluntary leave were asked to cut their vacation short and return to work in July.

The language of the project belonged to the Americans. The 15th. April, they told the stewardesses: If we don’t get 200 volunteers, we’ll ask for flight attendants (on EVLOA) in reverse order of seniority until we have 200.

They did not receive 200 volunteers returning from extended leave. They received 96, and the airline hired 104:

This is 90% good news – everyone goes back to work, American Airlines will fly again. It’s just a shame for the people who agreed to take time off to save the American people money while the government gave subsidies to the airlines to pay everyone. Personally, I’m just happy to be able to book tickets again – I even took an American Airlines flight and will do so again next week. (I also flew with Southwest and booked on United flights).

Lake View from the Wing

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