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American Airlines' proof of income letter sparks debate online because of its abysmal pay rate

A person noted that the meager pay explains why flight attendants are going on strike as, going by the proof of income letter, they can barely afford to cover their living expenses.

American Airlines' proof of income letter sparks debate online because of its abysmal pay rate
Representative Cover Image Source: Pexels | Pixabay; Reddit | u/containment-failure

When people get a job, the least they expect is that it covers their living expenses. But some jobs, especially the ones based in big and expensive cities, make it impossible to do so. A Reddit user who goes by u/containment-failure on the platform sparked a discussion online after sharing a proof of income letter given to flight attendants. "The actual letter American Airlines gives new flight attendants when they move to NYC, Miami, Boston, Dallas, etc.," the post's caption read. 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | RDNE Stock Project
Representative Image Source: Pexels | RDNE Stock Project

"This is meant to be used in lieu of proof of income when looking for housing... How is anybody supposed to live in any of the base metro areas on $27,000 annually before taxes?" the person questioned. "Meanwhile, CEO Robert Isom alone was paid $31,400,000 last year - over $15,000 per hour. And there haven't been any pay increases for FAs since 2019. No wonder the flight attendants are ready to strike," they added.


The letter shared by the attendant read, "This is to introduce to you employee number who is a new Flight Attendant currently going through American Airlines Flight Attendant Training. Upon successful completion of training on 11/14/2023, they will go onto payroll." The letter explained that the projected annual salary is $27,315 before incentives and taxes. "The employee is compensated hourly at a rate of $30.35 per flight hour. Compensation is subject to change based on adjustments to their collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and actual hours worked. Any courtesy you can provide would be appreciated," the letter concluded.

Image Source: Reddit | u/containment-failure
Image Source: Reddit | u/containment-failure

People took to the comments to talk about the low salary flight attendants receive. u/Active_Ad_8461 wrote, "It is my theory that airlines do not want you to make this a career. They want young, just graduated college, happy-go-lucky folks to do this for two-three years tops, see the world with their benefits and then move on to using their degrees or whatever. Or people who are older with that same travel desire and not many work years left. It keeps costs low and prevents jaded flight attendants that people complain about. Just my theory."


u/SteelSpartan noted, "I don't know how anyone could afford to see the world even with their benefits on $27k a year. Assuming flights and airport hotels are paid for, you still need to pay for Uber or rental cars to get around any major city in the US because public transit is so bad. A night out on the town will easily run you at least $100/night for dinner/drinks. And that's just in the city. If you want to get out anywhere beyond the city limits, you'll definitely need a rental car and a hotel stay that I’m assuming won't be paid for at that point. You might be able to 'see' the world, but you can't experience much on 27k a year."


u/FluffDuckling shared their own experience: "I got based in Miami as a new hire where the crew discounted rate for a hotel that did not make me feel like my neighbors would kill me was 100$ a night. I had to choose between a bed and a shower or sleep in the airport for free, where I could use the money to buy a meal. I was literally starving while trying to work as often as I could, so I could have a free bed to sleep in. Yes. I did know what I was signing up for."

u/seriouslyjan expressed, "Ask how they are paid. I was told that the pay started from doors closed to doors opened. That means they have been working 1 to 2 hours unpaid during boarding and deboarding. So the $30.00 an hour pay wage isn't always reflective of the pay they get, which might explain the low annual starting wage."

Image Source: Reddit | u/Frankintosh95
Image Source: Reddit | u/Frankintosh95
Image Source: Reddit | u/zeimet
Image Source: Reddit | u/zeimet                     

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