Flight Attendants’ Hellfire: ‘I Can’t Feel Like A Human’

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But while airlines are eager to capitalize on demand, many seem to lack the staff to keep up.

Bureau of Transportation Statistics data shows the number of full-time equivalent employees on U.S. scheduled passenger airlines. was about 14 percent lower The AFA union said tens of thousands of flight attendants took leave during the pandemic in June 2021 compared to March 2020. American Airlines said about 3,300 flight attendants have yet to return from their tracks.

“So many people on extended leave and early retirement are struggling to meet the demand for travel,” said Paul Hartshorn, flight attendant and spokesperson for the Professional Flight Attendants Association. 24,000 American Airlines employees. “And there’s a shortage of staff, not much room for storms and maintenance delays.”

Mike Van de Ven, head of operations at Southwest Airlines, shared a message with staff on August 20, saying that the increase in bookings is “damaging our operation and putting a significant strain on all of you.” And for that I am sincerely sorry.” He also said that “historical staffing models are not effective in this pandemic environment.”

“There aren’t enough people,” said Nas Lewis, a flight attendant and founder of one of the leading US airlines. th|AIR|apy, a website and Facebook group for flight attendants’ mental health. Ms Lewis, who requested that the airline’s name not be released due to press policy, said the situation was a concern for staff because “we don’t know what we’re going to be dealing with any day.”

A pilot shortage Another critical issue for air travel is insufficient numbers of gatekeepers, baggage handlers and delivery drivers, all of whom can easily throw a key to boarding a plane on time.

When a cabin is understaffed, airlines depend on on-call or “standby” flight attendants. This summer, airlines are extending their reserves to the point where they dwindle or run out of available attendants before the day begins.

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