American Airlines planning day of thanks for flight attendants
Posted On: May 30, 2019
American Airlines has been on an employee appreciation kick in recent days.
Last week AA saluted the carrier’s thousands of mechanics, who just happen to be fuming over the lack of progress in getting a new contract.
And on Frida, AA will give a big tip of the hat to the 28,261 flight attendants (but who’s counting?) who now work for American around the world.
American will be setting out meals in crew rooms throughout AA’s network, and AA flight attendants also will be treated to other special events, gifts and prizes throughout the day.
Mechanics are crucial to keep AA's planes flying and generating revenue. But as AA management knows all too well, the airline’s flight attendants are also very important for an entirely different reason. They spend the most time interacting with customers and are the most visible representation of American’s brand image.
So of course, it makes sense to set aside a day to celebrate flight attendants and the role they play at American 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
By the numbers, an American spokeswoman on Thursday, said nearly 2,500 of American’s total body of flight attendants are domiciled in Chicago, where AA has its third largest hub at O’Hare International Airport. That Chicago total includes more than 300 new AA flight attendants who have been hired since 2018.
Each year, American receives 130,000 flight attendant job applications. For every 125 that apply, only two are selected — making AA more selective than any of the elite Ivy League colleges that seek the creme de la creme.
More than a few flight attendants who do get hired are multi-lingual. American said 14 percent of its FA work force speak more than one language.
And though there has been more than a little tumult about things like uniforms, as well as tense relations with management over the years, most American flight attendants still seem to enjoy the job once they get it. The average tenure of an American flight attendant is 21 years.
While Chicago has its share of the total AA flight attendant workforce, the entire contingent is spread among 17 stations around the world — a global group to be sure.
And no one enters or stays in the FA ranks at American without training. The typical flight attendant gets an average 900 hours of training for the key job of being the carrier's chief safety stewards in flight, and the brand face of American Airlines.