flight attendant

The stress on airline employees got a lot of attention this week after JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater “lost it” by cursing at a (jerk) passenger over a plane’s loudspeaker and then jumping down the emergency slide with a beer from the galley.  However, this may be just the beginning of flight attendant flare ups.  According to reports, U.S. airlines have cut jobs for two straight years and airline employment in the U.S. is now at its second lowest point in 20 years.  Meanwhile, annual passenger traffic has jumped about 65 percent during that same period.

Diminishing staff and fuller flights are adding to the stress among flight attendants, pilots and other workers – and experts think that U.S. airlines will continue to show overall declines in staffing despite some sporadic hiring.

The bottom line:  Flight attendants are over-worked, under-paid and often treated poorly by passengers.  Give em a break and be kind.

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • British Airways recently announced a “London for Free“  promotion where you can book a round-trip fall airfare from the U.S. to U.K., and get up to two complimentary hotel nights at select 3-star and 4-star properties.  The airline also reduced fares from its 19 U.S. gateways. Round-trip fares are from $498 from New York (JFK or Newark), from $654 from Chicago, and from $576 from San Francisco. For the free hotel deal you need to book by midnight August 19, for travel October 21 to December 19.
  • From now until September 6, 2010, the New York Marriott East Side hotel offers a special sightseeing package. This last minute deal is perfect for guests who want to explore the best of New York City with less strain on their wallets. With the Summer in the City deal, guests receive two NYC Explorer passes and guidebooks in addition to breakfast for two. This special Midtown Manhattan hotel offer is available to guests staying at least two nights and can be reserved online at http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/nycea-new-york-marriott-east-side/.
  • Delta Air Lines has received approval to begin a $1.2bn terminal renovation project at JFK Airport in New York.  The airline will dismantle Terminal 3 to accommodate parking spaces and will operate its international traffic from Terminal 4, which will also be upgraded with nine additional gates and baggage claim space and will be linked to Terminal 2.  The project will begin in September and is expected to be complete by mid 2013.  The fund will include $900m in special-project bonds, $215m in passenger facility charges (there’s the rub) and $75m in equity from Delta.  Delta said the renovation is aimed to attract corporate passengers as it builds a major air hub in New York.