The AAFA Attacks: Reasons Why Flight Attendants Should be Allowed to Fly Planes

There has been some major pushback to the article “Facing Pilot Shortage, will California Give Flight Attendants More Authority to Fly the Plane?“. Due to the alarm by the public, the American Association of Flight Attendants have compiled a list of reasons why their members (soon to be called Flight Practitioners) should be able to fly airplanes and practice at top of their stratosphere:

  • Many pilots are not available in rural areas and flight attendants can fill those needs.
  • Flight attendants should be able to use their time on flights to count as their flight hours needed to be a pilot.
  • The AAFA also noted that many new online universities will be expanding their Flight Practitioner Doctorate Programs in ‘airfield therapy’ to train these flight practitioners to be equal to pilots. These two-week programs are very intensive. And there is a 100% acceptance rate for those who can afford it.
  • Unlike pilots, the AAFA feels the flight attendants should not need any certification in flying different types of airplanes. Using an apprentice style model, flight attendants should be able to shadow a few pilots and then be able to do the same thing.
  • The AAFA has brought up that pilots hardly give the public the time and care they need. They are responding to public complaints that pilots just come on the overhead PA system for 5 minutes, while the flight attendants take care of them for the rest of the trip.
  • The AAFA claims there is no data showing flight attendants have any more crashes than pilots.
  • Flight attendants’ salary would only be half as much and therefore savings can be passed on to the public.
  • The AAFA has supported the marketing plan with ads claiming their members “have the brain of a pilot but the heart of a flight attendant”.
  • The AAFA feels this controversy is a turf war whereupon the pilots are just trying to protect their income.
  • The AAFA feels there is no evidence the extra years of education and training by pilots is beneficial.

The AAFA is confident that it will have legislation passed in their favor. They point to the overwhelming number of flight attendants (all of whom are already wearing pilot uniforms) who show up to state capitols to show their support while only very few pilots show up to protest. This must mean that most pilots agree with them. Many flight attendants, at these rallies, can be seen with signs that state:

The AAFA is Fighting to Remove Barriers and Secure Full and Direct Access to Flight Practitioner Services


Join the movement to empower Flight Practitioners to deliver high-quality, public-centered air travel worldwide.

Update: the AAFA has now changed their name to AAFP or the American Academy of Flight Practitioners. They know that other organizations may use this acronym but they don’t care.

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  19 comments for “The AAFA Attacks: Reasons Why Flight Attendants Should be Allowed to Fly Planes

  1. Joe Smegma, DO
    February 22, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    Brilliant. Simply brilliant. They are wearing the uniforms and wings. Of course they are pilots. Hahaha! Nice job guys. Hopefully somebody is listening.

  2. arf
    February 19, 2020 at 8:43 pm

    Instead of cruising at 30,000 feet, the flight attendants should be able to fly at 15,000 feet.

    You know, sort of a mid-level.

  3. Jerry
    February 19, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    Great news ! Airfares will come down for sure !

  4. Dr. BlueSkies
    February 18, 2020 at 10:59 pm

    I used to be a “Flight Attendant” but I soon recognized the limitations of my training while in mid flight, and after some close calls with high rise buildings with a full to capacity plane, I turned in my FA wings to head back to Pilot School and my eyes are now wide open to what I missed and how much I could have missed had I not wisened up. Now, if I was supervised by a pilot during my formative years and continued to work with a fully trained pilot, my passengers would have all arrived safely to their destinations. This I know for sure because I now know what I didn’t know then. #humble, #trainingcounts

  5. Dr. William
    February 18, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    Perfect analogy! This clearly demonstrates how incredibly dangerous it is to put the lives of our friends and family into the hands of someone who is not fully trained to do the job. This is literally a life or death situation. Do not settle for someone with incomplete/inadequate training. Do not allow your legislators to reduce the quality of the person who provides your healthcare (or who flies your plane). Your life very seriously depends on this.

  6. Sunniya
    February 18, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    This is a great analogy. So glad someone actually took the time to compare what is happening In medicine

  7. Theresa Sowinski
    February 18, 2020 at 11:52 am

    Brilliant comparison!!!

  8. Concerned doc
    February 18, 2020 at 11:16 am

    Absolutely BRILLIANT. Mic drop. The most accurate analogy of the NP scam being forced upon the American public that I have ever seen.

  9. Meghan Galer
    February 18, 2020 at 10:31 am

    Exactly THIS. Great analogy. I deal with dangerous NP misses and screw-ups almost daily in the ER. The public ought to be TERRIFIED of non- physicians practicing independently. In fact, what they need to be doing is demanding that we are given the resources to supervise safely! KUDOS to the authors. A truly apt analogy.

  10. R Stuart
    February 18, 2020 at 10:21 am

    As long as their name tags identify them as “Pilot,” I have no problems with it.

  11. N. E.
    February 18, 2020 at 9:57 am

    Anyone who reads this and thinks it sounds absurd should consider that this is what is actually going on in healthcare! People who are not trained physicians want to be able to practice medicine. Yikes.

  12. Pat
    February 18, 2020 at 9:48 am

    I love a cutting parody. C’mon LELT’s, where are you? Let’s hear your righteous outrage!

  13. Kay Victor Adamczak
    February 18, 2020 at 8:43 am

    Of course, let’s allow under-prepared non-physician practitioners to do everything any anything a fully qualified physician does with a couple of extra courses!!!

    Our State lawmakers have caved to the pressure of the intense lobbying of the AANP and AAPA, as well as insurance companies.

    There is no SHORTCUT to practice medicine. You must go to medical school, do the residencies and pass the USMLE’s!!!

    Patients are at risk!!!!

  14. BC
    February 18, 2020 at 8:30 am

    This is awesome. The absurdity would make one think this would never be possible. Don’t be too sure! Fortunately a person can choose not to fly. Unfortunately, everyone needs medical care at some point. Keep flight attendants out of the cockpit for the safety of everyone.

    • Pat
      February 18, 2020 at 9:46 am

      But flying has not yet been deemed a “right”, whereas the vast ignorant mob has come to feel that health care is.

  15. Golden Patient
    February 18, 2020 at 8:05 am

    Someone needs to send this to the politicians who support midlevel independent practice. This piece highlights how ridiculous things have become. What we need are more residency slots and student loan repayment for doctors who choose to work in primary care and rural areas.

  16. Dr Z
    February 18, 2020 at 7:34 am

    Agree! This analogy shows how completely ridiculous it is to claim that a nurse can do doctor work after “some additional training.” It’s common sense.

    If docs claimed they could be nurses after “some additional training,” the AANP would be up in arms.

  17. D M
    February 18, 2020 at 7:14 am

    Excellent analogy of the ridiculous trends in medicine.

  18. Concerned traveller
    February 18, 2020 at 6:52 am

    Don’t be stupid : you want to risk innocent lives ! Can you be a Doctor without going to Med school
    How about a midlevel takes care of you and not a doctor when you are sick and let a flight attendant airlift you when you are fighting tooth and nail for your life !

Comments are closed.