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Friday, September 22, 2023

American Airlines Doesn’t Pay New Flight Attendants For Training

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Although it is usually regarded as one of the best occupations in the world, the life of a flight attendant is not without compromises.

Flight attendants not only have to spend weekends and holidays away from their family, but it also turns out that one of the world’s largest airlines does not pay new hire flight attendants for the first six weeks on the job.

American Airlines is presently hiring new hire flight attendants in preparation for a huge expansion later this year, but the competition is expected to be fierce.

In fact, it’s often assumed that getting into Havard is easier than getting a job as a flight attendant with one of the Big Three US airlines.

However, once you’ve gotten your foot in the door at American Airlines, you’ll have to wait a bit longer to start generating money since the Dallas-Fort Worth-based carrier doesn’t start paying crew members a wage until they’ve completed the initial training course.

And, as you might guess, being a flight attendant does not happen overnight. The training program at American Airlines lasts around six weeks, during which time trainee flight attendants are not paid.

American Airlines isn’t the only airline that offers unpaid training to prospective flight attendants, and the carrier doesn’t expect trainees to be able to make ends meet solely on their savings.

Along with paid lodging, students receive a meal card worth $27 a day to pay for food and drink, as well as transportation to and from the training center.

The fact that training is unpaid has a long history, and it is partly due to the fact that work offers are conditional.

Trainees must pass all of their exams during the course, and even after completing the recruitment process, trainers might flag flight attendants who may not be a good fit for the airline.

Of course, this implies that some candidates may be unable to pursue their ideal job because they cannot afford to work for six weeks without pay, and this has caused confusion over AA’s policy.

Someone on Twitter wondered how American Airlines would persuade people to work for free for so long, and flight attendants responded that it was a tiny amount to pay “for a lifetime of happiness.”

Others pointed out that AA flight attendants aren’t paid for boarding or deplaning, thus the training course was a decent introduction to the job’s injustice.

Others pointed out that American Airlines wasn’t the only carrier that required flight attendants to work without compensation during their initial training.

For the first time since the outbreak began in August 2021, American Airlines has launched flight attendant recruiting in the hopes of employing up to 800 new hire flight attendants.

Last Monday, the recruitment window reopened for what is likely to be a brief period.

After passing the initial training course, flight attendants may be assigned to any of American Airlines’ 11 locations across the country.

In accordance with President Biden’s federal vaccine mandate for government contractors, the airline is only hiring candidates who are completely vaccinated against COVID-19.


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  1. I was hired by AA in June 1984 as a ticket/gate/lost baggage agent which required 5 weeks of training at DFW. We were not paid during training back then and we had to buy our own uniforms. They don’t put you on payroll during training because you aren’t an official AA employee until you pass all the training modules.


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