Friday, September 22, 2023
HomeThe 907Alaska, American Airlines flight attendants could strike over holidays

Alaska, American Airlines flight attendants could strike over holidays

Traveling this holiday season? Plan for chaos, just in case flight attendants decide to strike.

After a vote by participating flight attendants went heavily toward a strike two weeks ago, over 26,000 flight attendants are set to sit out their shifts if the contract negotiations with Alaska Airlines and American Airlines are not resolved by November.

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A strike might not be not on every flight, but on random flights, which would cause airline management to be unable to adapt. It’s a type of asymmetrical labor warfare that would give flight attendance the upper hand.

Some 99.47% of participating flight attendants voted to authorize a strike, and more than 93% of eligible flight attendants participated in the vote.

The Association of Flight Attendants, the AFL-CIO union representing the flight attendants, are asking to be paid during boarding and deplaning, and a 40% overall increase in pay and benefits. They say that current wages for flight attendants make them qualify for federal food stamp assistance during their first year of work for Alaska Airlines.

Currently, flight attendants are not on the clock until the boarding door is closed, the brakes are released, and the plane is pushed back. If there is a long delay in boarding, due to mechanical issues or runway congestion, flight attendants can be on board but not paid for many minutes or hours.

Negotiations, scheduled through November, could lead to a holiday strike during the busiest travel season of the year. The union cannot call the strike until at least the end of September, which marks the end of the 30-day cooling off period that is a labor rule of the National Mediation Board.

Picketing by Alaska Airlines attendants took place in August in major airports of the west coast, including Anchorage, with some flight attendants holding signs that said, “PAY US OR CHAOS.”

Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. ALL the airlines had better be really looking at what flight attendants have to put up with during their shifts!!! I for one would NEVER EVER want to be a flight attendant/bouncer! They deserve every single penny they earn and much much more! I also believe strongly that there should be an air marshal on EVERY flight!

    • Air Marshals on every flight – YES!!!
      Striking causes chaos which contributes to less security. Not a good idea in the dangerous world in which we live. Unions love chaos.

  2. They should be paid from the moment they show up ready to perform duties until they have completed their duties…That said, I can bring my own snacks and drinks so, other than an emergency where they are invaluable team members, not sure I really would miss them..harsh maybe but honest..

  3. I am not one who usually supports a strike but airline flight attendance should be paid from the time they clock in to go to work.
    What I do t support is a 40 percent increase in pay and benefits. Are you kidding me?

    • Did you miss the part where first year flight attendants qualify for food stamps? That is NOT a liveable wage. For the amount of work FAs do with those meagre wages, 40% isn’t unreasonable at all

  4. Just do it already.

    “AK” Air has been hinting this for months. They do have some legitimate concerns. So take your shot.

    Just don’t be as stupid as the writers in Hollywood. If you get 80+% of your ask, take it.

  5. If they paid pilots and attendants for ground time, flight delays would increase tremendously. It’s like paying a truck driver to stare at the parked truck. Traditionally, crew members are paid at a much higher hourly rate to compensate for ground time. It also is incentive to get the show on the road. Unnecessary ground time costs a fortune in lost revenue. A totally unreasonable request. Much like the auto workers wanting to get paid for not working. How can you expect anyone to run a business like that.

    • Might be easy to run a business like that if the next bailout’s in the works.
      If we can bail out Ukraine any time and every time they want, surely we’ll spare a billion or two for Alaska Airlines, no?
      Now listen for renewed talk about an Alaska-American merger because of prohibitive labor costs and competition from Delta Airlines.
      See, everybody important wins.

    • Agreed and well explained. I should add that the same unions support the china joe agenda which has raised costs everywhere, but fuel in particular. Crew getting a 40% pay raise will drive those costs much higher. Tried to buy an Alaska Airline ticket lately? – the cost of a ticket from Fairbanks to Seattle has more than doubled. The unions are going to kill air travel which will devastate the entire economy, and all those wonderful cabin attendants will be out of work.

  6. Alaska Air flight attendant earns already $39.49 an hour plus benefits. That’s already more than enough. People today need to learn contentment else the employer one day may struggle maintaining one’s job. They should look at my wage of 15.50 an hour. That’ll make people earning more more grateful and how much money they waste earning 20.00 and greater. I’m blessed I have an extended family looking out for us. I’m sorry my family didn’t look out for me sooner and get me as a Christian earlier and maybe I’ll be in a job at 39.49 too. By my thrifty and frugal spending habits I’d be stacking the money in an account. However we all must learn contentment and learn frugality with money where we start out.

  7. This fall-winter How about passengers who aren’t traveling for work just save and stay home, to make less chaos the fewer passengers actually traveling for work or medical a chance to travel without too much headache, because of less demand on Airlines. That level of public sentiment and thoughtfulness probably asking too much of them of Alaska Air?

  8. Call us churlish or worse, it’s hard to give even a microscopic damn about the same flight attendants who refused to strike against mandates, whose union demanded mask mandates.
    To you contemptible lot, sstrike already, shut the airlines down, screw over passengers yet again, country’s going to hell anyway, might as well grab yours before Bidenomics crashes the whole thing, no?
    And may we suggest in a loving way, after the predictable consequences of your tantrum, don’t even come close to thinking about lobbying congress for yet another airline industry bailout. (

    • Amen! You tell it Morgan! I’m with you on this one. Same for the big three on strike. They already make 67 dollars an hour assembling vehicles and that’s not enough??? They will also be in line for another hand out, I mean bail out. Too big to fail? To big for there damn britches. The end game since the beginning of this plandemic was to put us all out of business. Well done fools! They should have all went on strike when half of the pilots and flight attendants were canned for not taking the vaccine!!!!! Now there’s a strike we could have supported. Too late to turn back now. We need to all get together and bust up these damn union crime bosses and the thugs need to quit meddling with our elections as well!

  9. Personally I don’t care. These unions mostly supported this corrupt regime in 2020 and are hurting. Well, we all are hurting because of people like you that supported the OBiden regime. I have quit flying and bought my first Japanese car made in America this year. When you union members get your heads out of your behind, maybe I’ll support you.

  10. Oh well. After spending more than 15 years as a Gold Member, I rediscovered that there are few things less enjoyable than being treated like cattle. If I am lucky I’ll never see the inside of another commercial airliner in my entire life.

      • Thanks to that inane policy I gained an average of 4 lbs per one-way flight segment from all the damn snacks i was eating the entire flight…

      • That is only applicable to your average passenger. IF you are a cute young blond girl, Hector will ignore you openly flouting the masking requirement.

      • To be fair most of the flight attendants out there did NOT want to be the mask police despite the claims of their nutcase union boss. They were following their company policy and could have been subject to disciplinary action if a passenger complained that they *weren’t* enforcing it. While a few did seem to enjoy the power trip, all of the flight attendants I know personally were thrilled when the mask mandate was struck down. Air range was never higher than during those 2 years, caused both by passengers who didn’t want to wear a mask as well as Karens who felt the passenger sitting next to them was taking too long to sip their drink.

    • LOL …That was exactly the straw that broke this Camels back when I chose a 1AM nonstop flight to SO Cal for a Mexican dental appt.
      Karen seemed so power hungry and fulfilled as she strolled to and fro waking passengers up because their mask had slipped down off their nose.
      Bidenomics inflated economy will cause many more union strikes.
      Go ahead and strike everyone out of business.
      Walking is much healthier and greener….Joe with the very fast and all powerful “Green Corvette”

    • You nailed it. Particularly out of Seattle base. I’ve had the non-pleasure of dealing with apparent man haters several times. So much in fact that my wife notices it too. I smile say a good morning or whatever, yes ma’am no ma’am and otherwise quietly sit down and shut up. Not good enough for the man haters. AK airlines used to feel like family and passengers were generally treated as such. There’s been enough atrocious behavior that even some of the customer service people acknowledge it and are trying to rectify the situation. Its Seattle based staff and AK Air knows it. Rude is not customer service. The stories we could tell.

    • Well said.
      And the ones crying about their wages can quit!
      They sound like school teachers belly aching once they were called back to classrooms after their beach holidays during Covid!

  11. I had no idea flight attendants were not paid for those times pre and post boarding. Seems a reasonable enough
    request to prevent “chaos”.

    • Some airlines have a wheels up/ down policy, your
      on the clock when the landing gear goes up, off the clock
      when the gear hits the runway.

      Flight attendants have been trying to change this for
      many decades.

      In spite of what most people think, it’s hard for an
      airline to make a reasonable profit, many airlines
      have gone out of business, a lot of them here in AK.

  12. The only thing Alaska Airlines is good at is robbing Alaskans to subsidize their attempts to compete with other carriers. And, if those stewardess aren’t happy with their pay, then they can get a job somewhere else.

  13. Legitimate concerns or not this “pay us or chaos” theme is directed at YOU the traveler during the holidays. People trying to travel on the holidays to see loved ones maybe they haven’t seen for some time or only once a year are being targeted to apply the most pressure.

  14. I remember when Reagan said get your A– Back to Work, to the Air Traffic Controllers.

    Hard to believe there will be any support from Pennsylvania Avenue on this one.

    And where in the world is the Terrorist Buttigieg?

    No spine in these serpents

    • “Hard to believe there will be any support from Pennsylvania Avenue on this one.”
      Are you serious?
      This is right up the green agenda, one world government, commie BS that the Briben administration has been supporting all along. The COP 21 meeting is saying the average person should only be allowed on short haul flight every three years in order to “save the environment” (Which is code word for bring in a one-world government that is run by right parasites, while the average person lives in squalor.)
      Biden is in full support of this strike, and he likely wishes the airlines would go out of business as fast as possible.

  15. Pilots are primarily paid by the flight hour (gate to gate) as well. We do get, however, what is usually called a “duty rig” which is basically a minimum guarantee per workday as measured from when we go on duty to when we are ultimately released to rest. It varies by company but is usually about 50% of our hourly rate, which means that on a day with a really long delay where we end up on duty for 12 hours we still get paid for a minimum of 6 – even if the flight was only 3 hours. I’m not sure if flight attendants have something like this but I think that would be reasonable.

  16. Details matter. FA’s make poverty level annually. Its the game airlines play with them. Almost 100% say strike. Consider that. BTW the rules they enforce…..they dont make em. Your government does.

      • The only time I’ve ever seen a FA “harass” a passenger has been the direct result of that passenger’s repeated non-compliance with the rules. I didn’t want to wear a mask any more than anyone else for the 2 years we had to wear them but I knew the rules when I bought the ticket.
        Enforcing a rule that you (and probably they) disagree with is not harassment.

  17. I’m old enough to remember when Eastern had a massive strike so intense it killed the airline.

    I also remember seeing news packages featuring the strikers celebrating, chanting “we won!”, after putting everyone out of a job permanently.

    Be cautious “AK air”. You could easily end up getting more than you’re asking for.

  18. First off the traveling public should act like humans. Second if Anyone causes any hazardous disturbance on any portion of a flight 8 of the largest male passengers should get up and stomp them into the carpet the problem would come to an end fast. I for one am tired of dirty, foul mouthed entitled travelers. Respect needs to come back. That will only start at this point after some bloodshed. Police are helpless to do anything, our judges give them a slap on the hand so they are no help.


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