‘Dream job’ turns into nightmare for some JetBlue flight attendants

  • JetBlue flight attendants who recently started work say they face 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 assigned to theft, which affects their income.

Travel isn’t what it used to be – airlines are losing passengers’ luggage, canceling flights, hijacking planes mid-flight and even asking people to get off a plane they’ve just gotten on.

Airline crews are also under pressure from this summer’s travel chaos. Insider spoke with two JetBlue flight attendants — including one who recently quit — who described their struggles finding affordable housing after completing airline 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 housing than she earned.

Another flight attendant, who did not want to be named, told Insider: “It was supposed to be a dream job for many of us, but we are living through a nightmare. Most of us are virtually without shelter or live in a hotel with up to eight people in a room, barely surviving on the little wages we earn.”

They fear being kicked out of the hotel if management finds out how many people are staying in a room meant for four people.

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

A flight attendant said JetBlue was aware it could not cope with the influx of new crew members. “We spoke with union representatives and the crisis fund – no one is ready to help. All the crashpads are full until September. We don’t make a lot of money as beginners, so we share a room which costs nearly $3,000 a month.”

The stewardess added: “There are still quite a few of us here with no place to go. There are so many newbies who have already quit because they couldn’t afford to stay.”

The worker also knows of co-workers who break the rules by staying in airport crew lounges.

Santana said they were told not to worry about where they would be based until they had completed the training. “You don’t have to look for a place to stay right now, because you don’t know if you’re going to be successful,” Santana said.

Santana and the stewardess said they were both on standby, like many others. They were paid $21 an hour before tax, but were only guaranteed a minimum of 75 hours a month, which equaled $1,575.

However, Santana said she spent about $2,400 in about two weeks on accommodations, food and Uber trips.

Santana said she didn’t feel supported: “Everyone in management kept telling us it’ll get better – it’s just something you have to go through. I haven’t had any flights I was literally spending money that I wasn’t earning back.”

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

A JetBlue spokesperson told Insider that it does not provide accommodation for staff, but does offer confirmed seats on flights for those who decide to travel to their bases from other areas during the peak summer season of flights. trips.

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

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

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