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United Airlines Accuses Rogue Flight Attendants of Fraud

United Airlines Accuses Rogue Flight Attendants of Fraud

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Old Mar 27, 19, 4:04 pm
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by Gig103 View Post
Why are all the "jaded, senior" crew bidding on these destinations? I'm guessing it's less work, more money, or some combination. Maybe the fix is to pay someone their salary regardless of destinations, flight times, etc.
Efficiency ... a SYD trip carries 30 hours of pay, and is two boardings and all done in less than three days. At the complete other end of the scale, EWR-BOS and SFO-LAX would need 30 sectors to make the same flight pay, and it would involve 30 boardings (none of which are paid) / more days to complete. FAs also love Hawaiíi ďturnsĒ from the West Coast, where they fly out and back for a 12 hour pay day. A friend of mine does those for 7 total days per month to hit her 84 hours and takes the rest of the month off.
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Old Mar 27, 19, 7:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Catbert10 View Post
Randomly assigning crews to routes will lead to all kinds of unhappy crews. Hence a bidding process. Some FAs can try to get flights where they go home at night. Others get flights where they work the fewest days on the month but travel further. What other 'currency' could be used other than seniority? There are thousands of basically interchangeable FAs.
How about actual performance? I realize sometimes it's difficult to quantify, but if a FA gets mostly praises from pax he/she serves, shouldn't that FA deserve the opportunity to pick out routes as a reward??

LAX
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Old Mar 27, 19, 8:44 pm
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by LAX View Post
How about actual performance? I realize sometimes it's difficult to quantify, but if a FA gets mostly praises from pax he/she serves, shouldn't that FA deserve the opportunity to pick out routes as a reward??

LAX
Not sure that would provide enough differentiation between all of the FAs to be used as an effective currency. If the US airlines instituted a true purser position, who acted like a real supervisor who could rate FAs, then that may work. But I don't think management wants to pay for the position any more than the union wants it.
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Old Mar 27, 19, 9:28 pm
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Honestly they should either prevent swaps (what you bid is what you fly), or they should have a company sanctioned barter system. Anything else is inviting fraud.

I donít see a huge problem with a company supported barter system; more seniority means you have a chance to make a little extra money from your fellow FAs. Probably reasonable if youíve been working 10+ or 20+ years.
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Old Mar 27, 19, 10:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Catbert10 View Post
Randomly assigning crews to routes will lead to all kinds of unhappy crews. Hence a bidding process. Some FAs can try to get flights where they go home at night. Others get flights where they work the fewest days on the month but travel further. What other 'currency' could be used other than seniority? There are thousands of basically interchangeable FAs.
There must be an employee performance rating system, why not allow the highest performing FAís the first pick versus seniority. This would hopefully then inspire competition to improve performance. Itís a carrot not a stick. I donít share the opinion that all FAís are interchangeable, itís a spectrum of performance, just like in any profession.
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Old Mar 27, 19, 11:43 pm
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Originally Posted by John Aldeborgh View Post

There must be an employee performance rating system, why not allow the highest performing FA’s the first pick versus seniority. This would hopefully then inspire competition to improve performance. It’s a carrot not a stick. I don’t share the opinion that all FA’s are interchangeable, it’s a spectrum of performance, just like in any profession.
Yes, meritocracy and inspire to improve, very noble. With entrenched union and such a public company, if you do a performance hierarchy system, I'd bet my bollock that many not so best performing would be senior union members, minorities, gays (not because of some inherent flaw of their own, but because typical people would rate young blond bimbo way higher regardless of their performance - see research about tipping). From legal and social fabric point of view it's easier to abuse junior members.
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Old Mar 28, 19, 6:17 am
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Lufthansa is unionized and doesn't nearly have the same problems as America's legacy carriers.
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Mar 28, 19 at 12:43 pm Reason: Omni content removed
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Old Mar 28, 19, 6:45 am
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I should be noted the charge is some FA's were using their seniority to get highly desired routes for the sole purpose of selling access to those routes to less senior FAs. They never had any intention of flying them. That really is fraud, IMHO.
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Old Mar 28, 19, 7:00 am
  #24  
 
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If true, the behavior of these FAs is abhorrent.

However, these sorts of threads lend themselves to senior-FA-bashing. I haven't always been friendly in my postings about UA FAs, but I'd like to point out that there are some tremendous senior FAs out there, and I would much rather have them on one of my flights than inexperienced young ones.
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Old Mar 28, 19, 8:36 am
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Originally Posted by Catbert10 View Post
Randomly assigning crews to routes will lead to all kinds of unhappy crews. Hence a bidding process. Some FAs can try to get flights where they go home at night. Others get flights where they work the fewest days on the month but travel further. What other 'currency' could be used other than seniority? There are thousands of basically interchangeable FAs.
No one is saying randomly assign FAs to routes they don't want. Here are two ideas that would be better than the seniority system:

(1) Have FAs bid on routes (like now) but assign them in random order, e.g. shuffle the seniority list every month.

(2) Increase pay dynamically on the "crappy routes" until FAs bid on them organically.

I can think of some other ideas too.

One of the biggest problems with the seniority system is FAs feel trapped and unable to switch jobs e.g. to a competitor. They think UA mgmt is screwing them but they can't switch to DL, AA, etc. because they would start again on reserve status / crappy routes. They have invested many years in climbing the seniority ladder and it makes more sense to wait N years till retirement than to switch to another job they might be happier at. People who feel trapped in their jobs don't provide good service.

Likewise, management is only negotiating with the union rather than competing for labor in the traditional sense with the other airlines, for example by offering better pay or benefits. It's like all the airlines signed an agreement to make it as hard as possible for workers to switch employers. That's bad for workers and bad for customers.
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Old Mar 28, 19, 11:07 am
  #26  
 
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I guess I'm in the minority here because I don't see a problem with seniority having its perks just as many people think GS or 1K status should have some perks. The airlines and union might think about making that seniority be based on time in the career rather than at the company in order to give FAs more flexibility on changing companies but if I was in a senior position at the company, I'd WANT the seniority based on time in the company so that I had an incentive for the best to stay with me rather than benefiting a competitor.

I noted immediately that the union was also behind charging the employees. That's good because the people this hurt most were fellow FAs. IMO, the best solution is the one they're taking: charge the suspects with fraud and then prove it. It's a much harder case but it means they don't have to hurt innocent senior FAs.
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Old Mar 28, 19, 11:19 am
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by ExplorerWannabe View Post
I guess I'm in the minority here because I don't see a problem with seniority having its perks just as many people think GS or 1K status should have some perks. The airlines and union might think about making that seniority be based on time in the career rather than at the company in order to give FAs more flexibility on changing companies but if I was in a senior position at the company, I'd WANT the seniority based on time in the company so that I had an incentive for the best to stay with me rather than benefiting a competitor.

I noted immediately that the union was also behind charging the employees. That's good because the people this hurt most were fellow FAs. IMO, the best solution is the one they're taking: charge the suspects with fraud and then prove it. It's a much harder case but it means they don't have to hurt innocent senior FAs.
Youíre not the only one that feels that way. The seniority system works, itís industry-centric and not going away.

This is not as rampant an issue as FT would assume it is. Get the bad apples out and move on.
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Old Mar 28, 19, 12:20 pm
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by John Aldeborgh View Post

There must be an employee performance rating system,
For FAs, I don't take this as a given on US airlines. They don't have true supervisors on the flights, so how would the crews get rated?
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Old Mar 28, 19, 1:17 pm
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Originally Posted by clubord View Post
This is not as rampant an issue as FT would assume it is. Get the bad apples out and move on.
I was basing my comments on conversations I've had with FAs and other front-line workers. Some of them feel mistreated by their employer and trapped by the seniority system since it'd take 15 years to rebuild their seniority at another airline.
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Old Mar 28, 19, 1:29 pm
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Originally Posted by threeoh View Post
Some of them feel mistreated by their employer and trapped by the seniority system since it'd take 15 years to rebuild their seniority at another airline.
15 years is still considered a junior FA at SFO - try 25 years - that is about the threshold to get international and Hawaii flying as a SFO based FA and even then it is not guaranteed.
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