Flight attendants at an American airline should receive official proof of poverty with their employment contracts. The flight attendants have apparently not received a pay increase since 2019.

For many, flight attendants are the face of the airline. But despite the high level of responsibility and the often idealized idea of ​​the job, many of them are financially on shaky ground. This is particularly evident in the situation of the flight attendants of an American airline, who, according to the travel blog “View from the Wing”, have not received a pay increase since 2019.

The annual gross salary of an airline flight attendant is 27,315 US dollars, the equivalent of around 25,000 euros. “View from the Wing” further reports that inflation has caused real wages to fall by 20 percent since 2019. A new contract that would be necessary to adjust salaries has been delayed by the pandemic and a union policy that awaits the reinstatement of current officials.

The situation is so precarious that flight attendants in their first and second years of service are paid below the poverty line and are eligible for food stamps. The airline even issues certificates of poverty to help flight attendants apply for social benefits. A screenshot of an alleged letter goes viral on Reddit, among other places.

Germany is facing a similar situation, as a recent report from Stepstone reveals. An average gross salary of around 2,905 euros per month and an hourly wage of 16.80 euros for a 40-hour week as a flight attendant initially sound promising.

However, Stepstone points out that collective agreements negotiated between employers and unions are crucial to ensure appropriate conditions such as working hours and remuneration. These contracts vary depending on the employer and region. A flight attendant in Baden-Württemberg earns an average of 3,080 euros gross per month, while in Thuringia it is only 2,750 euros.

The size of the airline also plays a role in pay: larger and internationally active airlines generally pay higher salaries. Inequalities are also noticeable when it comes to gender; men often earn more than their female colleagues.

ZDF reports on Julia, a flight attendant who has been working for a large German airline for over five years. Although she enjoys her job, the poor pay of just under 1,400 euros net per month bothers her. Many flight attendants in their community are forced to take on part-time jobs to make ends meet. After a separation or as a single parent, the financial hardship often becomes even worse and the fear of social decline is great.

Since the introduction of citizens’ money, there has been the assertion that social assistance is more worthwhile than working. Instead of cutting aid, a significant increase in the minimum wage would make full-time jobs more worthwhile again, at least the SPD is convinced.

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