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AA flight attendants raising $64,000 question


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#1
FWAAA

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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....allenge-am.html

Here's what Vaughn actually said in his declaration:

As the exhibit above indicates, flight attendants who choose to work at least 70 hours in every month of the year make an average of $64,000 annually. Some, in fact, make in excess of $100,000 per year.


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.amrcasein.../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.
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#2
Veritas

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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.

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

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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....allenge-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.amrcasein.../2041_15463.pdf

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.

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.
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#4
eolesen

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

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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.

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#6
FWAAA

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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.

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 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.

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).

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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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.
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#8
jersey777

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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

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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.

<snip>

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.


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 ?


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.

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.


But our resident management AApologist knows better.
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#10
nbmcg01

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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 ?





When negotiating in the press (and even the court) many companies have used all "cost" to up the appearance of high salaries. This might include hotel rooms, and per diem costs that in other times would be considered "the cost of doing business". It is amazing how much we earn when they want to cut costs but how little the executives earn when they want to justify senior mangt. salaries. I always love the "we have to pay them to be competitive or we will lose the talent". Of course this is the same talent that led us into bk.




But our resident management AApologist knows better.


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#11
Veritas

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When negotiating in the press (and even the court) many companies have used all "cost" to up the appearance of high salaries. This might include hotel rooms, and per diem costs that in other times would be considered "the cost of doing business". It is amazing how much we earn when they want to cut costs but how little the executives earn when they want to justify senior mangt. salaries. I always love the "we have to pay them to be competitive or we will lose the talent". Of course this is the same talent that led us into bk.


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.
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#12
Vortilon

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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.



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...
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