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Flight Attendants Demand Feds Review Breeze Airways’ Operating License Just a Week After Starting Flights

Flight Attendants Demand Feds Review Breeze Airways’ Operating License Just a Week After Starting Flights

A group of flight attendant labor unions have called on the Department of Transport (DOT) to review the operating licence awarded to Breeze Airways over concerns about the airline’s recruitment strategy that they claim favors young, white employees through an online university degree program.

The newest airline to grace the skies over the United States, Breeze Airways only launched its inaugural flight last week and was awarded its operating licence just a few short months ago. Breeze is the latest project by serial airline entrepreneur David Neeleman who founded jetBlue and Brazil’s Azul Airways.

The airline hopes to carve out a successful niche market by connecting lesser served airports with point-to-point flights using a fleet of Embraer regional jets which are being initially leased from Azul. Eventually, Breeze will also add Airbus A220’s to its fleet.

Neeleman claims the airline can break even fairly quicker, in part because of its low labor costs. Those labor costs have been driven down by hiring university students but providing perks like free corporate accommodation and tuition fee reimbursement.

At the time Breeze filed its operating licence application there were no objections but flight attendant unions now claim they would have objected if they knew then what they now know about the airline’s flight attendant recruitment policy, reports.

Breeze hoped to fill all of its flight attendant positions with university students who signed up for online courses through Utah Valley University. The unions claim this recruitment policy would block older applicants who didn’t want to earn a Bachelors degree or had already completed a university course.

Around 70 per cent of UVU’s student population is under the age of 30 and predominantly Caucasian. “While Breeze touts its new recruitment method as a way of saving on the costs of running an airline, this method also unfortunately limits its main pool of candidates to university students,” the petition from the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA), Transportation Trades Department and Transport Workers Union (TWU) argues.

“For a profession that had an established reputation for discriminating against older workers throughout history and that has only recently begun to combat these ingrained, ageist behaviors, Breeze’s recruitment strategy is more in line with historical standards rather than modern ones.”

Although the unions argue any discrimination is unlikely to be intentional, the effect might still violate the Civil Rights Act.

In response to what is believed to be a lack of interest in the UVU program, Breeze did open up a wider recruitment campaign but this was only for part-time contracts – something that the unions believe discriminates against older applicants.

View Comments (18)
  • This is the same union that says we should wear masks forever on planes and never serve alcohol in airports or onboard. Based on their own demographics I’m sure they really care about all that. They just don’t like a non-union shop opening for business.

    • No, they want a SAFE workplace for workers, and a SAFE and healthy flight for everyone, including crew.

      As for the booze, they want to be SAFE from the outrageous assaults that keep increasing because of selfish assholes like you.

      • The FAA has documented the uptick of unruly passengers. One flight attendant has had teeth knocked out, a passenger was just handcuffed with zip ties on a Delta flight. I have no problem with college age flight attendants working as long as they are not being short changed on training. Most people do not realize the amount of responsibility a flight attendant crew possess. Babies have been delivered, people with mental illness are coming out of the woodwork. Please prepare these young people for almost anything can happen. I hope this new airline is screening properly and training beyond what the FAA requires!
        From someone with over 23 years of experiences as a flight attendant and previous safety instructor (now retired) .

  • What a pathetic, garbage piece. Will never stop and ready this blog again. Can’t even mention the Union and the manic woke socialist monster behind it? I’ll tell you – AFA & Sara Nelson. And what “other” unions? The owner editor of this blog who just allows such junk to publish without requiring you know, some facts, like who what where why when?

    • I’m sorry you feel this way Jerry. The full names of the unions involved has now been added and the petition was always fully linked to so you can read the argument in full should you wish.

  • Young White people really are the only ones who will turn U.S. Airlines decent. U.S. airlines have the worst rated cabin crews in the world. Demographics are terrible and unions mean the worst parasites are protected. Current U.S. flight attendants deserve our disgust and contempt. I don’t blame this new airline for trying something different by encouraging employment of young people who are in school programs and who don’t want to make serving drinks on a plane their career. Europe not only has vastly better demographics but also has mostly young cabin crews who move on to other careers by 35 better suited for raising a family.

  • Thanks Mateusz.

    I’m sick and tired of the idiots that want to argue with TSA, airline, or security staff because of some mistaken belief that the rules for safe, secure, and healthy flights don’t apply to them. These same folks have also been brainwashed by rightwing hate media to hate the idea that workers can bargain as a group with employers, so any mention of unions triggers their irrational beliefs. And as you can see by Jackson’s horrifically racist comment, you have revealed the REAL reason.

    I’ve always thought that Neeleman really wants to run a Mormon airline. This recruitment scheme seems to prove it. I’m surprised he didn’t try to recruit from BYU but maybe their students are too smart to fall for this cheap labor scheme. Now I’m wondering how much flight time his pilots have.

    • It is disappointing that you would express disdain both for a specific religion and also dismiss UVU students as being gullible and not particularly intelligent. Yes, UVU is open admission, accepting all who would seek to improve their lives through higher education. About one third of their students are first generation. About 15% identify as Latinx. To paint them as unintelligent is hateful and uninformed.

  • Good job Breeze. Keep the ghetto and hoodbooger crews at Spirit and Frontier. I don’t want gang members as my f/a.

  • I find this ‘So Called’ CEO’ s Comments, Practices, and way of thinking atrocious and unthinkable. As a 30 year Retired Flight Attendant, Needleman needs to be held accountable for his. Racist Practices. Will Never fly Jet Blue or this New Piece of Joke on Wheels.

  • Is anyone barred from getting a degree? Are the admissions standards discriminatory? Can people who can’t afford get grants and loans. Then nothing to see here just so.e.association protecting it’s turf by calling a straw man discrimination

  • And yet anyone of any age and any color can apply to the UVU program and get the job and the degree. It’s a public university. I see no discrimination. Just a hit piece on a blog I’d never heard of.

  • Some of the posts here are despicable. Don’t you delete racist posts and ban persistent offenders?

  • Aaaaah! Hello geriatric nembers of that socialist union of flight attendants……..I flown many airlines fireign and domestic and will admit flying in U S flagged major airlines suck because only in America do we have inequality with the age and youthful flight attendants. Outside of the US, foreign airlines only hire attractive good looking, youthful flight attendants that represents their countries who want their passengers to feel comfortable. Here’s an example when I flee AA from DFW to Narita. All the AA flight attendants had f@cked up attitudes, dusrespected other passengers, and were the UGLIEST Flight Attendants an airline can field on a long haul flight which was a NIGHTMARE!

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