It wasn’t long ago that I wrote about a young flight attendant who worked for an NWA partner (Compass Air), and who came to work that fine day sporting several hickies on her neck. She was admonished by her “superior” who was sporting a crazy Mohawk. I don’t think either one was older than 20 and I wondered, “Do they screen anyone for this job anymore?” With a bit of digging I got an answer, but it only served to pose additional questions.
Yes, they do hire 19 year old flight attendants and yes, they do screen them. They don’t pay them though… at least until they pass the fairly rigorous flight attendant screening and safety tests. “Wait right there,” I thought, “you go through weeks of training, testing, trials, etc, and they DON’T pay you for that?”
Whoa. No wonder I’m not a flight attendant.
Anyway, let’s assume you do pass the test and you get your wings. You’ve now earned the right to be added to NWA’s payroll. They will schedule you how they see fit and you’ll only get paid for the routes that you work. That part seems reasonable enough, especially if you consider that you need some tenure in order to get the choice routes (in most cases). The unreasonable part is that they pay you close to nothing. The flight attendant/mole I was talking to told me that a newbie flight attendant on a small partner (like Compass Air) makes around 18k per year if they’re lucky enough to get scheduled for lots of routes.
Whoa. Have I mentioned how glad I am that I’m not a flight attendant?
Why am I telling you all of this? It just makes the story I’m linking you to that much more enjoyable! Go ahead, read it, then come back to this blog…
Now, the first thing I thought when I read that story was: “Wait a minute, a punk-ass 19 year old KID started whining about a route he was being PAID to work, and thought he’d get even by setting the plane on fire? Has NWA, Compass, whoever, forgotten that these people are there to control the safety of our lives?”
I’m saying… I was mad enough when they sent a ditzy, hickey ridden valley-girl to do a real flight attendant’s job, but when they send completely unstable crazy punk kids who have a mind to set the plane on fire to strand me in Fargo, North Dakota for crying out loud?! It’s time to boycott!
I (for one) have called Compass air’s customer hot-line (twice now), and I’ve told them that as a Platinum flier for their parent company, NWA, that I will no longer schedule a flight with them. To anywhere. Ever!