AA flight attendants raising $64,000 question

Discussion in 'American Airlines' started by FWAAA, Apr 14, 2012.


  1. FWAAA

    FWAAA Veteran

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    Some flight attendants are questioning AA's assertion that its flight attendants who fly at least 70 hours each and every month (12 months of the year) earn an average of $64,000:

    http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2012/04/flight-attendants-challenge-am.html

    Here's what Vaughn actually said in his declaration:

    I'll provide a link but it's paragraph 22 of Vaughn's declaration, which is at page 2259 of the 6505 page .pdf

    http://www.amrcaseinfo.com/pdflib/2041_15463.pdf

    It appears that AA is including per diem pay and all other incentive pay in this calculation. According to AA, only 3,000 of AA's 15,500 active FAs qualify for this comparison by flying at least 70 hours every month, so it's really the top 20% of flight attendants, ranked by earnings.
     
  2. Veritas

    Veritas Veteran

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    Wrong. Even with per diem and incentive pay, top of the pay scale flight attendants averaging 90 hours a month do not even come close to earning $64,000 per annum.

    I am sure that there are some who fly internationally who earn this kind of money and more, but they do not number anywhere near 20% of the flight attendants and are not representative of more than 90% of the work force.
     
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  3. jimntx

    jimntx Veteran

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    This is not just a misrepresentation of the facts, this is an outright lie if that is what he said. How could only 3000 f/a fly at least 70 hours a month when a minimum line of flying is 70 hours/month. The "lines" are created by the company. If the total flying is less than 70 hours when the line is created, the company has to provide "pay & credit" for the difference between the total flying and 70 hours of flight pay minimum. That is contractual. Needless to say, even in the good times the company does not like to have to pay for flying not flown; so, the great majority of domestic lines are built with 72-78 hours of flying. IIRC the maximum for a regular domestic line is 80 hours. A flight attendant can then choose to pick up additional flying over and above their line or drop trips if they don't want to fly a full schedule, but they cannot create an illegality, and there are a number of restrictions on trip trades and trip drops.
     
  4. eolesen

    eolesen Veteran

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    I almost wonder if the $64K is a fully loaded number.
     
  5. BoeingBoy

    BoeingBoy Veteran

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    I don't have a clue whether it's true or not, but keep some things in mind:

    1 - he said "fly" over 70 hours - that probably means block hours, not pay time could would be higher.

    2 - he said "fly" that much every month for a year - that means it doesn't include vacation, which would be paid in addition to the pay time for 70 or more hours flight time.

    3 - he's undoubtedly talking about gross pay - no allowance for taxes, union dues, or anything else deducted to get to "take home" pay.

    4 - he's undoubtedly including any premium pay or override.

    5 - "make" an average of... may include any medical, dental, retirement over what the FA pays - making $100 can be different than being paid $100, i.e. the difference between pay and compensation.

    Jim
     
  6. FWAAA

    FWAAA Veteran

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    No, it's correct. $64,000/year equals $5,333.33/mo. Topped out int'l FAs get $49.14/hr, and more than 80% of AA's FAs are top of scale. Domestic top out at $46.00/hr. For an international FA, a monthly average of $5,333.33 requires 103.5 paid hours each month. Of course, that doesn't mean the FA had 103.5 block hours each month - as vacation, sick pay, deadheading (at 50%) and other non-block hour pay adds up. And those figures don't include per diem pay.

    I'm curious how you know the total annual pay of the top 3,000 AA FAs? Neither of us has seen all 15,500 active FAs' W-2s, but AA certainly has seen them. Of the top earning 3,000 AA FAs, every one of them is paid for at least 95 hours per month (if they're just paid for 95 hours/mo, they would be the ones below the $64k average) and just under 1,300 AA FAs average between 110 and 120 paid hours each month; that's between 1,320 hours per year and 1,440 hours per year. Each of those 1,300 earn more than $64k - substantially more, in fact.

    Overall, just about 3,000 AA FAs actually fly more than 70 block hours each of the 12 months in the year, and in so doing, their average pay is $64,000 per year. According to AA, some of them make more than $100k (the very high-time flyers, who average more than 140 paid hours each month or 1,680 paid hours each year).

    It's not a misrepresentation and it's not a lie. Two-thirds of AA's FAs fly fewer than 840 hours per year or 70 hours per month on average. 80% of them don't fly a minimum of 70 hours each month (as in all 12 months). How could only 3,000 fly a minimum of 70 hours each month? You've posted about the non-flying FAs and those who sell or trade or drop most of their trips - well, that's how you end up with so few FAs who hit 70+ hours for all 12 months. Recall that vacation/sick/etc is paid time but not block hours.

    From my reading, it's the average W-2 pay of the top earning 3,000 FAs out of the 15,500 active FAs, including base pay, incentive pay, per diem, vacation and sick pay, Optional Exchange pickup, the additional 50% deadheading (D-Time) pay and International P-time, vacation and credit duty rigs. Does not include benefits like medical, dental, pension, etc.

    Exactly. The average active FA flies about 59 hours per month, but is paid for about 75. The top-paid 3,000 would average something over 100 paid hours each month, but that doesn't require 100 block hours, of course.

    Yep. The 3,000 top flying FAs actually fly at least 70 hours every month - all 12 months - and, of course, are paid for much more, like their vacation, sick, etc. Nevertheless, those 3,000 FAs manage to squeeze in 70 block hours each month on top of all their paid time that doesn't require flying. No doubt they have very full schedules and may not have quite as much free time as the average AA FA.

    Most certainly. The $64k would be W-2 gross pay.

    Yes, FAs get a 15% premium for hours in excess of 70 in any month. Plus per diem and galley pay, purser pay, etc. AA domestic FAs still get domestic galley pay in economy even though, as AA points out, they don't perform any galley work, as no domestic flights feature meals in economy.

    No, it doesn't include benefits - just gross wages.
     
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  7. fltguymk

    fltguymk Advanced

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    I have mailed my last 3 years of W2's to Judge Lane. I am at top pay scale, fly international, a speaker and I fly 80-85 hours a month. I barely grossed 45k last year...... The numbers the company are giving are loaded alright. Loaded full of crap.
     
  8. jersey777

    jersey777 Veteran

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    No wonder the APFA declined to meet with the company to negotiate and instead decided to focus all their energy on the court hearings scheduled to begin on April 23rd. With this blatant misrepresentation of the facts this makes the unions job easier to prove that the managers of AMR are big fat liars.
     
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  9. Veritas

    Veritas Veteran

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    Of course you know better than the people who see the monthly pay statements and receive the annual W-2 forms. :rolleyes:

    Very few flight attendants, as in low single digit percentage, receive any deadhead time in a year, let alone in a typical month.

    Per Diem pay is whooping $1.50 an hour. The average time away from base is just over 200 hours a month. That totals $3,300 a year assuming one is away 220 hours every month and does not take any vacation or time off.

    The 15% incentive pay premium does not apply to time picked up on Optional Exchange (OE).

    Galley pay is less than $2.00 an hour and on domestic flights only the flight attendant working first class galley, who actually prepares and serves meals, is paid galley pay.

    Oh, your friends in management forgot to factor in the commission earned on BOB sales. :p

    Remember the phrase ""lies, damned lies, and statistics"? Have you read How to Lie with Statistics ?


    But our resident management AApologist knows better.
     
  10. nbmcg01

    nbmcg01 Veteran

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  11. Veritas

    Veritas Veteran

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    Not to mention that the per diem pay received by American's flight attendants is the lowest in the industry and falls far short of the GSA Per Diem allowances.
     
  12. Vortilon

    Vortilon Veteran

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    My wife is a 25 year FA at AA, and she has never made over $45K a year working full time. You can talk in circles all you want, the pay stub doesn't lie. Even if there were some flight attendants making over $64K per year, they had to be damn near living at work to do it. Using AA management's logic, why not factor in the average of all FAs part time side jobs as well? Right...
     
  13. jimntx

    jimntx Veteran

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    Now I know where you get your company-serving info from. You are using the "average" flight attendant. No can do. The company includes in that calculation the flight attendants who are still on the "active" list and don't fly at all. Relatively speaking, very few working f/as fly less than their assigned line each month--in fact, most try to pick up extra flying. I am fortunate that I don't have to fly extra hours unless I want to. I do not know how most f/as live on what we make if they are not flying high time (in excess of 80 hours/month). Yes, I make $41.20/hour base pay and incentive pay (over 70 hours) of $47.38/hour (at last, Mother can have that operation). Do the math. $41.20 x 70 = $2884.00/month GROSS. Before deductions.

    We do NOT get paid for vacation "in addition to" our regular line. In fact, we only get paid for the trips that fall within our vacation period. Vacation days that were scheduled to be days off are unpaid. My vacation was 18MAR-31Mar this year--14 days. I only got paid for 8 of those vacation days because my line had flying scheduled on 8 of those days.
     
  14. FWAAA

    FWAAA Veteran

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    For the 12 months ended November, 2011, more than 7,100 AA FAs flew fewer than 720 block hours - that's fewer than 60 hours per month of flying. A total of 4,700 flew fewer than 600 hours in those 12 months. 2,850 flight attendants flew fewer than 480 hours in those 12 months. Those numbers do not include the approximately 900 FAs who were on some form of leave or are in management - that's the number of active FAs who don't fly very much.

    There are a lot of flight attendants who don't fly anywhere near 70 hours per month. In fact, there are just 3,000 or so who fly more than 70 hours each and every month (all 12 months). That's not just 840 block hours per year - it's 70+ hours for each and every month of the year. Only the top 20% of the active list (those not on leaves, etc) manage that feat. Those 3,000 (who average $64k a year) are indeed the high-time flyers. Vaughn paints them (perhaps misleadingly) as those who choose to work a full schedule or more each and every month.

    Then you are far from that top group of FAs described by Vaughn (numbering 3,000) who pull down an average of $64k.
     
  15. jimntx

    jimntx Veteran

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    And, where did you get your statistics? IF they are accurate (and that's a big if in my book), you are either AA management posting what should be confidential information, or you are being fed the data from someone in AA management, or like management, you are just making it up as you go along.
     
  16. FWAAA

    FWAAA Veteran

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    If the top 3,000 FAs earn an average of $64k, that does not mean that the top 3,000 FAs each earns at least $64k. It means that the average earnings of that group is $64k. In order for that group to earn an average of $64k, some will of course earn more and some will earn less. Simple math tells us that the total W-2 earnings for that group of $3,000 is about $192 million, resulting in an average of about $64,000 each. According to AA, the top 5% of FAs (ranked by earnings) averaged $93k, with some earning over $100k.

    Individual FAs can mail their paystubs and W-2s to the judge, but unless he gets W-2s from all 15,500 active FAs, those paystubs and W-2s won't prove that AA or Vaughn was untruthful. Vaughn said that the top 3,000 FAs have average W-2 earnings of $64k.

    From the numbers you posted, it souds like your wife is just about the average FA. According to AA, the average AA FA flies just over 700 hours each year and is paid for about 900 hours each year. At $45k, that describes your wife. She's not in the top 3,000 who, as you point out, "had to be damn near living at work."
     
  17. FWAAA

    FWAAA Veteran

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    None of the above. Most of the data is contained within this document, which I linked earlier in the thread:

    http://www.amrcaseinfo.com/pdflib/2041_15463.pdf

    Caution: it's over 6,500 pages (very big and slow document). Vaughn's declaration begins at page 2,241.

    Ah, yes. The old tried and true method of attacking the poster instead of the post. Obviously the data came from AA - they are the only source of this data. Vaughn filed his declaration under oath - under penalty of perjury. But of course, since he works for AA, he is obviously a liar willing to perjure himself.
     
  18. Mr Red

    Mr Red Veteran

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    Anybody that thinks that after almost 20% pay cuts and no cost of living, let alone pay raises for almost a decade,
    any labor group at AA is overpaid is clearly not living in reality !!
     
  19. FWAAA

    FWAAA Veteran

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    Nice strawman. Nowhere in this thread have I claimed that anyone is "overpaid." In fact, Vaughn's point (for anyone who bothered to read his declaration) was merely that:

    Nothing there about being "overpaid."
     
  20. AANOTOK

    AANOTOK Veteran

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    This is exactly why I visit this forum. When I'm not sure what I make or know how my contract reads, I can call on FWAAA and a few others to clarify it for me. There is not doubt this site is a godsend for us blue collar workers. :rolleyes:
     

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