‘Dream job’ turns nightmare for some JetBlue flight attendants

‘Dream job’ turns nightmare for some JetBlue flight attendants

  • JetBlue flight attendants who recently started work say they are facing high accommodation costs.
  • Some who spoke to Insider said up to eight people shared a hotel room meant for four.
  • Workers say they are not allocated flights, which affects how much they can earn.

Travel isn’t what it used to be – airlines are losing passengers’ luggage, canceling flights, rerouting planes while they’re in the air, and even asking people to disembark a plane they’ve just boarded.

The flight crew is also under the pressure of the travel chaos this summer. Insiders spoke to two JetBlue flight attendants – including one who recently quit – who described their struggles finding affordable accommodation after completing the airline’s training and being assigned to a base.

Jiani Santana, who resigned about two weeks after being assigned to Newark Airport, said she spent far more money on accommodation than she made.

Another flight attendant, who asked not to be named, told Insider, “This should be a dream job for a lot of us, but we’re living in a nightmare of eight people in a room, with what little salary we’re making, it’s barely can survive.”

They fear they will be evicted from the hotel if management realizes how many people are staying in a room designed for four people.

JetBlue began flying from Newark, New Jersey in July 2020 and expanded last year but canceled several routes earlier this year, according to Simply Flying.

A flight attendant said JetBlue is aware it cannot handle the influx of new crews. “We have spoken to union representatives and the crisis fund – no one is willing to help. All crashpads are full by September. We don’t make much money as newbies, so we share a room that costs almost $3,000 a month.”

The flight attendant added: “There are still quite a few of us here who don’t have a place to stay. There are so many newbies who have already quit because they couldn’t afford to stay.”

The employee is also aware of colleagues who break the rules by being in airport crew lounges.

Santana said they were told not to worry about where they would be based until they completed the training. “You don’t have to look for a place to stay now because you don’t know if you’ll make it,” Santana said, she was told.

Both Santana and the flight attendant said they were on standby, along with many others. They were paid $21 an hour before taxes, but only a minimum of 75 hours per month, which equated to $1,575.

However, Santana said she spent about $2,400 on room, meals and Uber rides in about two weeks.

Santana said she didn’t feel supported: “Everyone in management kept telling us it’s going to get better – it’s just something you have to go through. I didn’t get any flights. I literally spent money that I couldn’t get back.”

The anonymous flight attendant added: “The biggest problem is that we don’t fly. Our base is new so there are not that many flights.”

A JetBlue spokesperson told Insider it doesn’t provide any accommodations for employees, but does offer confirmed seats on flights for those who choose to commute to their bases from other areas during the peak summer travel season.

“JetBlue has reduced its flight operations by more than 10% this summer to reduce operational issues, including cancellations and delays due to weather and air traffic control programs,” they added.

Receipts, a copy of the contract and screenshots of a group chat were viewed by Insiders.

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