Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Coronavirus and travel
Reload this Page >

Will this be the end of an era for Baby Boomer (maybe Gen-X) cabin crew generation?

Will this be the end of an era for Baby Boomer (maybe Gen-X) cabin crew generation?

Old Mar 28, 20, 5:25 am
  #1  
Suspended
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 4,477
Will this be the end of an era for Baby Boomer (maybe Gen-X) cabin crew generation?

[MOD: if you feel this belongs to another thread please feel free to move, thanks. I post in AA forum because I am a AA funboy and it is relevant to all US3 airlines.]

Let me start this thread with saying that the Baby Boomer generation (born between 1944 and 1964) is great. They have gone through tough times, good times and bad times. Many of them have retired. Yet there are still legend still flying to his/her last days. Some of the best flights I have were served by these grannies and grandpas (well, some younger ones are like uncles and aunties as i am getting older too). The Baby Boomers have a certain charm that the younger cabin crew can not replace. They are always nice and treat people with care and they understand people better than younger cabin crew.

Due to the seniority rules in the US airline industry, the Baby Boomers are flying the most lucrative routes: intercontinental flights. Whether it is crossing the Atlantic or Pacific, you will always have these nice Baby Boomers cabin crew serve the flying public.

Can you remember the stories about the oldest cabin crew in Northwest (now Delta)?

However, with the Coronavirus, which supposedly have a higher fatality rate among over 60s, would we see the end of an era for the Baby Boomers generation crew on Intercontinental long haul flights? The reasons are two folds.

First, that is the reason of personal health. I think the Coronavirus really woke up many people in the world. The speed of infection and the possibility of airborne transmission really scares a lot of people. The news of large number of infection on the cruise ships and among airport workers really put airline employees on high alert. Do you still remember the story that AA crew refuse to fly to MXP from JFK? Cabin crew members are paying attention to their own health in the enclosed aircraft cabin. That ultimately would make the Baby Boomer generation to consider their own health over seniority. If you consider yourself as a close-to-retirement cabin crew, under the threat of Coronavirus, would you like to risk yourself in the 12 hours flight to Tokyo and back or a 2 hours short haul between PHX and LAX, once the travel is back to normal? I have no doubt people have different answers depends on personal circumstances. However, I also have no doubts that some of the great Baby Boomer generation would weigh in the risk analysis and decide to bail out from long haul flying.

The second reason is macro environment. People are talking about airlines after this crisis will be smaller (Delta said so). People also discussed the lack of demand immediately after the crisis. So airlines like AA are asking volunteers to retire early or take leave (paid or unpaid). New hires are suspended. All this points to an end of high growth airline industry witnessed in past 10 years. Whether or not many Baby Boomers would take the chance to take early retirement and to pursue personal goals, one thing is certain, that many of them will reconsider their choice after the coronavirus crisis. Airlines would like to offload many of the Baby Boomer generation for reasons that could not be discussed. This global shut down is a golden opportunity for airlines to lure these senior cabin crew towards retirement.

To me, whatever happens after the coronavirus in airline industry is what it is. But, I just have the feeling that many Baby Boomers cabin crew may finally decide long haul flying is no longer suitable for them, or finally decide flying in a tube over the land and ocean no longer inspirational. Will this be the end of an era for Baby Boomers cabin crew long haul flying? Or maybe some of the older Generation X cabin crew can see the logic and make a similar choice? One thing is for sure, flying will be different after 2020. To the better, to the worse, flying higher, flying lower, maybe younger.
FlyerTalker688786 is offline  
Old Mar 29, 20, 2:28 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: my heart is on the shores of the north Italian lakes
Programs: LX Senator Lifetime, Relais&Chateaux Club5C, ex ! "Amanjunkie", ex LHW LC, hate chain hotels
Posts: 2,074
Experience will triumph

Originally Posted by chongcao View Post
[
Let me start this thread with saying that the Baby Boomer generation (born between 1944 and 1964) is great. They have gone through tough times, good times and bad times. Many of them have retired. Yet there are still legend still flying to his/her last days. Some of the best flights I have were served by these grannies and grandpas (well, some younger ones are like uncles and aunties as i am getting older too).
I second your appreciation of more experienced cabin crew. The LH group airlines have many or them and they are the backbone especially for premium class service. You can immediately see the ex Swisssair (SR) hosts when flying LX.

After the major meltdown of the airline industry which might make disappear many LCC, the by then government owned legacy airlines will certainly stick to those experienced crew members, it is rather the end of the Air Asia/Easyjet/Ryanair college boys and girls .
behuman is offline  
Old Mar 30, 20, 4:57 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Programs: UA - Silver, Hertz-5 star
Posts: 146
Already a world wide pilot shortage

The COVID 19 pandemic will just make it worse as those nearing retirement will probably just call it a career (who can afford too) instead of going back to reduced wages and schedules at least until there is a dramatic demand for travel again. Refresh my memory is the mandatory pilot retirement age 62 or 65, I know it was increased from 60 to 62 a few years ago.

Stay Safe,

Paul
Paul510 is offline  
Old Mar 30, 20, 5:13 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: I 35 south bound, finally stopped
Programs: AA EXP, LT Plt, 4mm, *A Silver, Free Agent
Posts: 1,275
Generally speaking the mandatory retirement age is 65.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandatory_retirement
boerne is offline  
Old Mar 31, 20, 5:04 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: CGK
Programs: Starwood PLATINUM, BA GOLD, KrisFlyer Blue, GFF Silver, BATS After Work Club, Emirates Silver
Posts: 350
Yes they should probably call it a day at this point. I think airlines will go for the cheaper, younger and more energetic staff for those kinds of roles and that's probably the way it should be. And not just in this industry, youth unemployment is way too high.
john11111111111 is offline  
Old Mar 31, 20, 9:14 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Programs: UA - Silver, Hertz-5 star
Posts: 146
retirement age for pilots

Originally Posted by boerne View Post
Generally speaking the mandatory retirement age is 65.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandatory_retirement
I meant current licensed commercial pilots, they have specific age rules.
Paul510 is offline  
Old Mar 31, 20, 9:16 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Programs: UA - Silver, Hertz-5 star
Posts: 146
It's been bumped up to 65 by the FAA, so that is most likely the world wide age too.

-Paul
Paul510 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: