Wednesday, 7 November 2018

The latest competition between US airlines is.....who can reduce the most flight attendants!

who can reduce the most flight attendants! 

A recent communication from John Slater United Airlines Senior Vice President of Inflight Services to staff indicated that from the 1st February 2019 the airline was going make changes to the cabin service and thus axe at least one member of staff.

Slater and his team had previously asked United flight attendants for feedback on the airlines in-flight offering, how the service worked and what didn't work, that input from the frontline staff was taken, considered and collated with feedback from customers. The end result was that some items of the service in Polaris business class have been dropped, some changed and some things there were previously done in the air (plating up the main course) will now be done on the ground and as a thank you to the staff for their input and for working hard, United is going to axe at least one member of cabin crew on those long-haul flights.

In a letter to cabin crew, Slater also states that one of the other major reasons for this lowering of staff numbers per flight was so they can copy the number of flight attendants that American Airlines and Delta Air Lines put on long-haul flights. "On the 787-8 and -9, American operates with one fewer Flight Attendant than United. Similarly, Delta has one fewer Flight Attendant on some of its 777 and 767-400 flights. We’ll be matching their staffing level on these aircraft." Slater wrote, so perhaps its clear that the latest competition between the three big US airlines is going to be o the number of flight attendants onboard. Rather than going up, it is going down, it is a race to the bottom, to the minimum number an airline can legally fly with. 

The staff cuts will have a negative impact on service according to some United cabin crew, who are also indicating that safety is being compromised by United rush to earn more and more profit.  Staffing is about safety and service - we can’t accept the lowest level in either case. Ken Diaz, the President of United Master Executive Council, Association of Flight Attendants said, "Staffing is about safety and service - we can’t accept the lowest level in either case. - While management may view these positions as a “service role”, we know that having the right Flight Attendant staffing allows us to board faster, deescalate situations proactively and to respond effectively in those situations where the investment in our training really pays off."

"This is bad news for any of us that flight with United across the Atlantic." Frequent United flyer, John Timpson told us on Wednesday morning, adding "They've already made changes to the in-flight service, now as they are going to reduce it even further, makes it hardly worth the price. It's probably time to trade those miles..."