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.