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Airline Staffing

October 15, 2014 BE_Post, Blog No Comments

TOPIC: AIRLINE STAFFING TRENDS

LEVEL: DIFFICULT

Read the introductory text about the new airline staffing trends and the general employment situation in the airline industry. Follow links to get access to additional material.

Air travel is no longer romanticized as something glamorous, stewardesses are now called “flight attendants” and you will hardly see anyone dressing up for a flight.

Some airlines hiring former police officers or fire fighters as crew members – is yet another sign of the changing times. http://news.travel.aol.com/2010/08/06/jetblue-recruiting-new-york-cops-and-fire-fighters-as-flight-att/

 

JetBlue, a New York based carrier, has embraced this transition faster than any other airline (the company has employed several hundred retired city police officers and fire fighters since its inception). In these tough times the airline has decided to keep their tradition of hiring former law enforcement officers and fire fighters.

Meanwhile U.S. carriers have been cutting jobs for two years in a desperate attempt to reduce labor costs. In fact, according to the Seattle Times, “Airline employment in the U.S. is now at its lowest point in 13 years. One in four airline workers has been shed in the past decade. The industry has lost 54,000 jobs, or 16 percent of its work force, in the past two years” (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2012600875_airlinestress12.html).

1.   Watch the video telling about JetBlue’s staffing policy and answer the questions below: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w78ClpQI-JI

1.   What is the main concern of the airlines these days? (Answer: security)

2.   How do security requirements change staffing strategies? (Answer: airlines prefer to hire former police officers and fire fighters)

3.   How many “retired emergency responders” are there working on board JetBlue flights? (Answer: 200)

4.   How has the situation with the security on board the plane changed since 9/11? (Answer: the pressure is on the cabin crew)

5.   Who were the first flight attendants flying United? (Answer: registered nurses)

2.   List the 3 things that crew members are now trained to do in emergency situations:

 

·        ……………………..   …………………….

·        ……………………. ………………………

·        ……………………  …………………..

 

Answer: 1. they detain terrorists, 2. deal with air rage incidents, 3. handle disruptive fliers

3.   Here are some of the qualities airlines find valuable in ex-police officers and fire fighters. Fill in the blanks with the missing qualities mentioned in the video:

·        ……..?………………….

·        Ability to execute under pressure

·        …………?……………………..

 

Answer: professionalism, calmness

4.   Match words with their definitions (match the columns):

 

1)   Demeanor

2)   Air rage

3)   Disruptive flier

4)   To detain smb.

a.   Conduct, behavior

b.   To keep under restraint or custody

c.   Riotous, troubled passenger

d.   Aggressive behavior by an airline passenger

Answer: 1a, 2d, 3c, 4b

5.   Review this short transcript and fill in the gaps where necessary:

This isn't an entirely new………………….(1. Concept). In fact the idea of hiring……………………..(2. Flight crew) with the background in treating emergencies spans to the first ………………….. ………….(3. Commercial flights). The first flight attendants were ……………………. …………….(4. Registered nurses) hired to treat air sickness in bumpy (5. Prop planes). The changing roles for flight attendants has……………………(6. Mirrored ) our changing times.

Today for passengers and ………………(7. Crew) the glamor is gone replaced by long lines, cramped corridors and no food. But Lenny says there's one thing more ……………..(8. Crucial) than ever on board a flight:………………(9. Reassurance) if things go wrong – something he and the other retired cops and firefighters have trained a lifetime for.

6.   Although JetBlue have always paid great attention to their staffing, they, too, have had employee crises. Watch the video about a recent incident with JetBlue's flight attendant:

http://www.cnn.com/2010/TRAVEL/08/09/new.york.escape.chute.opened/index.html?eref=rss_crime&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fcnn_crime+%28RSS%3A+Crime%29&utm_content=Google+Feedfetcher

 

 

Answer the following questions based on what you have understood:

 

1)   What is the general public sentiment about Steven Slater's dramatic exit? (Answer: he has been called a folk hero)

2)   What charges is Mr. Slater facing? (Answer: reckless endangerment and criminal mischief)

3)   According to one of the news anchors, what should a flight attendant's usual demeanor be like? (Answer: he should be able to keep his cool)

 

 

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