American Airlines: Whoops, We Let Too Many Flight Attendants Leave

It hasn’t been the greatest couple of months for American Airlines, although the bankrupt carrier is finding some comfort in its latest earnings report. But what about those flight attendants?

The Year’s Airfare Hikes: What They Cost You

Now Hiring: 1,500 New Flight Attendants

As American plods along in the midst of a restructuring process that it hopes to emerge from by the end of the year, it offered $40,000 buyouts to flight attendants who agreed to leave the company. The only problem is, about 2,250 took the company up on the offer and that was too many. As a result, the airline must now hire more of them – at least 1,500 new flight attendants – beginning in November. These are the first new flight attendant hires in more than a decade.

Are Today’s Flight Attendants ‘Too Old’?

According to reports, the average yearly salary of current American flight attendants is $45,000 while the Bureau of Labor Statistics says the average overall was $37,700-plus. It is not clear if the new AA hires will make less than those already working for the airline but an airline spokesman said the new hires will allow American to “take advantage of new productivity measures negotiated with the flight attendants union.”

Airline Fixes Some Problems

Meanwhile, American appears to have repaired all of its loose seats and it’s relatively quiet on the labor strife front after the airline was plagued with horrendous delays and cancellations earlier this fall. The airline blamed its pilots, the pilots blamed the airline, but both sides are now said to be talking.

Which Carrier is Named Best Airline – Again?

Earnings Report: Some Good News

This week American reported a quarterly loss of nearly $240 million but most of these costs were related to the bankruptcy restructuring according to news reports. The airline also said the delays and cancellations did not affect results in “any material way” and that it made more money per passenger and there were more passengers on the carrier’s planes “than in any previous quarter.”

Southwest Succeeds with New Airfare Hike

Southwest Shows Profit

In contrast, Southwest reported a profit, but their revenue was said to be “lighter than the company expected” which it put down to a certain amount of softening in business travel and weakened demand in September. The outlook is brighter though as signs of demand have risen this month.

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Published: October 18, 2012