Last month, Breeze shared its plans on recruiting flight attendants as it prepares to soon launch. The hiring program would see the airline take on solely online college students for its cabin crew roles. However, this approach has now been shifted due to the lack of suitable applicants.
Breeze’s recruitment drive came under criticism from union representatives amid concerns over age discrimination and limitations. Targeted to students, applicants would only be allowed to stay in their flight attendant roles until they finish courses. They may apply for other jobs in the company but can’t stay on as attendants.
At the end of last month, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA – AFA United Master Executive Council analyzed Breeze’s program. The initiative will see flight attendants be paid a fixed sum of $1,200 each month. They will also receive $6,000 towards tuition for online coursework and company housing. Altogether, partakers will work 15 days per month.
Notably, the association’s council is not so happy about the measures. It shared the following in a statement:
“From a Union’s perspective, that’s age discrimination plain and simple. This concept must be viewed for what it is – a direct assault on our profession and careers. No one should be required to do these things, especially when only compensated $1,200 per month for 15 days of work (or $80 per work day). To say it is insulting and an affront to our profession is a gross understatement.”
David Neeleman’s firm has now made amendments to the strategy. Bloomberg shares that while Breeze is still hiring students as young as 18 years old, there is a notification for full-time flight attendant roles with a minimum age of 20. They must also meet the requirement of having “a high school diploma or equivalent.”
Nonetheless, Breeze still stands by its student program, which it is working alongside the Utah Valley University to provide. A Breeze spokesperson told Simple Flying the following about the approach:
“We still value and stand by the UVU program where flight attendants can get tuition reimbursement as they work and study, but we needed more flight attendants than the program was producing. So now there are two options.”
The recruitment drive continues
Altogether, it looks like Breeze is unfazed by the general criticism that the work-study has received. It’s not dropping the whole initiative but adding another set of requirements to take on additional pilots.
There are notable benefits for those taking part in the student program. For instance, they will have accommodation provided and receive money towards tuition fees. However, amid the sensitive climate following the pandemic, several crew members have been left out of work and there is uncertainty about the long-term industry recovery process. So, unions would be seeking securement across the board.
Breeze will be focusing on serving small and medium-sized cities. Interestingly, its leadership has hinted that 80% of its summer schedules have no nonstop competition. Nonetheless, even before taking flight, the carrier is causing a stir in the industry.
Simple Flying reached out to Breeze for comment on these reports. We will update the article with any further announcements from the airline.
What are your thoughts about Breeze’s hiring policy when it comes to flight attendants? How do you feel it compares to other carriers? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.