Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The 8th Day of the Flight Attendant Christmas

Eighth Day:  Proper staffing.  When the phone rings, those of us with Caller I.D. make sure that it’s not crew scheduling calling.  Only then do we answer the phone.  

Most people don’t realize that crew scheduling can call me, and if they reach me, they can assign me to fly.  Even if it’s a scheduled day off, and I’ve got a doctor’s appointment, or I’m leaving town.  Even if I just had twenty people arrive for dinner and we are just sitting down to eat.  If I refuse the assignment, I face disciplinary action.  

The only valid excuse for refusing to fly when assigned an extra trip is illness (although you may be sent to the doctor for verification), or if I had a drink (although then they may just give me an assignment for a time after the alcohol time limit has passed).

Of course, there are work rules that scheduling must follow, but sometimes they like to play fast and loose with the rules.  There’s just not much you can usually do about it, except complain later.

It makes us grumpy.  No one likes to be forced to work on a day off.

Seventh Day:  Delay free flights.  

Sixth Day:  Plenty of space for carry-on bags.  

Fifth Day:  Happy co-workers.  
Fourth DayShort security screening lines. 
Third DayThat we'll be home for those extra special events. 
Second DayNo weather problems.
First DayHealthy passengers.


Astroprof said...

well, this is something that I had not really known. I have heard of people being called in, but I had not known that it was required that they go. I thought it was just a request. Do you at least get paid at an extra rate?

Fly Girl said...

Yes, it's true. We can be forced to work on a day off, or face a discipline penalty. Discipline can range from a warning letter placed in a personnel file up to and including termination.

Some airlines pay time and a half in these situations. Other, it's simply regular pay.