- (Photo: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)
American Airlines has announced Wednesday that they will post 1,500 job openings for flight attendants next month, but are offering meager salaries.
The airline said that it would start hiring in December and begin flight attendant training in January in an attempt to cut labor costs under bankruptcy protection.
It surprises many that American Airlines is offering job opportunities as the company recently paid out 2,205 flight attendants to leave American Airlines with $40,000 – about a year's salary.
American Airlines hopes to replace the bought-out flight attendants with less expensive ones in order to prevent bankruptcy, meaning the new attendants will be paid less than the average $37,000 flight attendant annual salary.
It will be the first time the airline has hired flight attendants in 11 years.
"I'm excited to see American hiring again, it has been a long, long time," said APFA president Laura Glading in a statement.
The buyout was only offered to American Airlines flight attendants who had worked at the company for 15 years or more. The departing flight attendants all began working before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that included the crashes of two American Airlines jets. Since then, the company has lost more than $10 billion.
Many people expressed their reactions to American Airlines' announcement on social media sites on Thursday.
"America Airlines; there is a reason you are going bankrupt. You are quite possibly the worst airline ever. #soannoyed #americanairlines," wrote Jamie.
SkiftNews posted, "Attn flight attendants w/o seniority and a willingness to gamble, @AmericanAir is hiring."
Alternately, some online users posted excitement over the prospect of working for the airline.
"American Airlines is hiring flight attendants soon," wrote Lainie. "Quitting school bye."
While new flight attendants hired by American Airlines in December will receive less pay than their more experiences co-workers, they will likely also work less than the outgoing staff.
The position for a flight attendant has lost much of its appeal after responsibilities including working long hours, hosting duties, medical interventions, and even terrorism prevention, according to The Atlanta Journal Constitution.