Overbooked Flights. Late arrivals. Hidden Fees. It seems like the airlines cut corners anyway they can, even as they make record profits. Behind the scenes, the hardworking men and women who prepare food for flights say they cannot make enough to get by. Some earn as little as $7.90 an hour, preparing food all day in freezing kitchens or delivering it to planes on burning hot tarmacs without even the dignity of air-conditioned trucks.
Now, the poorest workers in the airline industry are taking their fight directly to the top, starting with the United Airlines shareholders meeting on May 24. There, workers will call on the titans of the industry to change its ways, and will invite disgruntled passengers to join them.
A caravan of 13 airline food workers will then travel through Charlotte, Washington and Philadelphia on their way to American Airlines’ annual shareholders meeting in New York. There they will again call on airline leadership to treat workers and customers alike with dignity and respect.