Considering the horrible experiences I’ve had recently on American Airlines (multiple cancelled flights with sucktastic customer communication about them), it was fortuitous to run into Ray Balis, an active flight Attendant, at Netroots Nation 2009.
Ray was elected by the American Airlines Flight Attendants to represent them during the negotiation process with American Airlines. He reveals some onerous corporate practices that may (not) surprise you. Flight attendants feel your pain in many ways, as much as you are as a consumer — they are getting jerked around by the financial woes of the airlines — and the decisions made up the food chain. When flights are cancelled, flight attendants aren’t paid; they are often stranded with all the same inconveniences we are, and they don’t receive a paid-for lunch (I’ve spoken to others who have to brown bag it), except on international long flights. That was one benefit negotiated away when the airlines played hardball.
To learn more about American Airlines flight attendants negotiations, visit the site Ray refers to in the video, //APFAVirtualPicket.com.