‘Dream job’ is turning into a nightmare for some new JetBlue flight attendants, who say they’re not getting enough flights to pay the bills
JetBlue hosts who have recently started their jobs say they face high accommodation costs.
Some of those who spoke to Insider said that up to eight people share a hotel room meant for four people.
Workers say they haven’t been assigned flights, which affects how much they can take.
Travel isn’t what it used to be – airlines lose passengers’ baggage, cancel flights, divert planes while they’re in the air, and even ask people to get off the plane they just boarded.
The airline crew is also under pressure from the travel chaos this summer. The insider spoke to two JetBlue flight attendants – including one who recently quit – who described their difficulties finding affordable lodging after completing the airline’s training and assignment to base.
Gianni Santana, who quit about two weeks after being assigned to Newark Airport, said she spent far more money on accommodations than she earned.
Another flight attendant, who did not want to be named, told Insider: “This was supposed to be a dream job for many of us, but we’re living a nightmare. Most of us are homeless or live in a hotel with up to eight people in one room, barely living on Little salary we get.”
They fear that they will be kicked out of the hotel if the management realizes how many people are staying in a room of four.
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 knew it couldn’t handle the influx of new crew. “We’ve spoken with union representatives and the crisis fund – no one is willing to help. All crash pads are full until September. We don’t make a lot of money as beginners, so we’re splitting a room that costs about $3,000 a month.”
“There are still quite a few of us here with nowhere to go. There are a lot of newbies who have already quit because they can’t afford accommodation,” the hostess added.
The operator also knows colleagues who break the rules by staying in the airport crew lounges.
Santana said they were told not to worry about where they would be staying until they had completed training. “You don’t need to look for a place to stay now, because you don’t know if you will succeed,” Santana said.
Both Santana and the hostess said they were on point, like many others. They were paying them $21 an hour before tax, but they were guaranteed a minimum of 75 hours a month, which equates to $1,575.
However, Santana said she spent about $2,400 in about two weeks on accommodations, food and Uber rides.
Santana said she felt unsupported: “Everyone in management kept telling us things were going to get better — it’s just something you have to go through. I didn’t get any flights. I was literally spending the money I wasn’t making in return.”
The unidentified flight attendant added, “The biggest problem is that we don’t fly. Our base is new so there aren’t many flights.”
A JetBlue spokesperson told Insider that it did not provide accommodation for employees, but was offering confirmed seats on flights for those who decided to move to their bases from other regions during the peak summer travel season.
They added, “JetBlue reduced its flights by more than 10% this summer to reduce operational issues, including cancellations and delays from weather and air traffic control programs.”
Receipts, a copy of the contract, and screenshots from a group chat were shown by Insider.
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