American Airlines deployed bot detectors to cripple an app its flight attendants find...


Posts: 1,352   +2,031
AA may not have replied to this article but I do think there is some basic diligence required before reporting something. To me, the main assertions in this article do not pass the smell test.

Does anyone really believe that a 3rd party app is "critical to the job" of being a flight attendant? How do you explain planes flying just fine for decades before this app or the phones it runs on having appeared? Is the app approved by the FAA or any part of the endless required industry checklists and reporting? Give me a break. If flight attendants were not able to find their assignments it would be a national story with the FAA involved. It is not.

There is also text describing a manner of workflow assignments that I do not believe has anything to do with reality either. Do you really believe AA is failing to staff flights because it did not hear back from attendants who were waiting to hear which flights their friends might be on, and even if it was, that their only way of contacting their friends was a via an anonymous public third party app? That's not how a railroad (or airline) runs either.

"Off-hours might not accurately describe the ground time of flight attendants since much of it is spent planning their next flight"

This is fairly major assertion which I do not see backed up by any evidence. Are you even able to get a quote from the flight attendant's union making that allegation, let alone the airline confirming it? I believe the implication that flight attendants are required to be either in an airport 24/7 or monitoring an app 24/7 to see if they might be given a random, new assignment at any time is false. My understanding is there are specific windows & flows at which flight preferences can be expressed and at which flight assignments are received, which are understood by the attendants for their airline. Other than paid standby, where you are at the airport so you can reach a gate in minutes if needed, if you are not on the schedule, you are not required to monitor it 24/7 to see if you were suddenly added with no notice. (And duh, because of course such a system would never work.)

"There are no real-time updates on the numerous daily flight delays"

This also bears some digging into. I've gotten these as an airline customer via text and email. General flight tracking is available from numerous sites and apps.

Anyway, I am not a credible airline industry expert either, but they do exist in the world, and this article appears to have a very low signal to noise ratio with no attempt to contact one to improve it. Please exercise at least some independent judgment and critical thinking before taking the opinions of one private developer, not even an airline insider, on how a major industry operates.

On the flip side, without any information at all, I'll easily believe this app has a nicer UI, is more performant, may offer more optional features, or is just simply more preferable to some people than whatever the provided enterprise IT system is. All fine and good to report just that but if you're going to claim this is a critical failure preventing flight attendants from doing their job the standard needs to be much higher.
Yet somehow AA flight attendants have been showing up for their flights for years. Could it be that using their official employee portal website vs. an 3rd party app is not the hardship this article is making it out to be? Or possible that flight attendants being asked to observe a late-breaking schedule change are notified via phone call, email, and/or SMS? And that there are rules as to when schedules are final so no one has to "monitor an employee portal 24/7"? And/or that there are formal distinctions as to when you are on standby status -- including getting paid for being on that status with different rules whether it is airport standby or phone standby -- again so that it is clear what your responsibilities are?
You missed the point of the conversation. Airlines Especially American (I worked for them!) Are constantly...and yes, Constantly changing times And cancelling flights!! Their on time Average is only what it is because they will cancel Rather than report a flight time change repeatedly. Sooo the point is, the attendants are Required to be At the airport and Waiting right up to the point of the change of cancellation. In Colorado winters changes and cancellations are Frequent and It's the attendants that are required to Constantly check in to find out!! What if you're at your brothers wedding and flight gets delayed, Once, twice, three, four times??? Botting a helpful app that makes your life be More normal instead of On Call 24 hours a day is just Wrong. Having been in the military and be on call at least you Knew....these people are tied to.their jobs 24/7...I didn't work as a flight attendant but at reservations and believe me, that was the one thing that attendants got fed up with the most.


Posts: 182   +102
You really need to work on your grammar! Took me a while to figure out what you're trying to say with that headline!