Breeze Airways’ Bizarre Approach To Hiring Flight Attendants

Breeze Airways’ Bizarre Approach To Hiring Flight Attendants

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Breeze Airways is a new airline that’s expected to launch in the US in early 2021. The founder of the airline is David Neeleman, the same guy behind JetBlue. Breeze Airways will initially fly Embraer 190s, but eventually plans to operate a fleet consisting exclusively of Airbus A220s.

As the airline gets closer to launching operations, it has now started accepting applications for flight attendant positions. However, Breeze Airways’ approach to hiring flight attendants is unlike what we’ve seen at any other US airline.

Breeze Airways is hiring flight attendants

Breeze Airways has a job posting for flight attendants, as the company is looking for “truly awesome” team members to delivery on the company’s mission:

“To make the world of travel simple, affordable, and convenient. Improving our guests travel experience using technology, ingenuity and kindness.”

When I saw that Breeze Airways was hiring flight attendants I figured this could be a good opportunity for those who have been furloughed at other airlines. However, the way the company is going about hiring flight attendants will likely exclude most people who might otherwise be interested.

Online university enrollment required

Breeze Airways is specifically hiring those without college degrees, as the company will require flight attendants to enroll full-time in an online college.

Specifically, Breeze Airways is partnering with Utah Valley University (UVU) for hiring flight attendants. The way this works:

  • Applicants will first be interviewed and selected for the Breeze Flight Attendant UVU Flight Study Program
  • Applicants will then have to enroll at UVU as full-time online students, completing 30 course hours per year; enrollment needs to occur before the start of flight attendant training
  • Flight attendant training will need to be completed before tuition reimbursement is offered
  • Flight attendants must complete their online degree in four years, and maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher

If these requirements are met, students will receive the following:

  • Paid in-state and out-of-state educational assistance of up to $6,000 per year
  • Corporate, shared housing at locations determined by Breeze Airways
  • Transportation to & from the airport
  • One paid trip home per month
  • A monthly salary

Flight attendants will live in shared housing

I mentioned this above, but I think it’s specifically worth calling out. Many aspects of this contract sound a lot more like what you’d expect at a Gulf carrier, rather than at a US carrier.

For example, flight attendants will be offered shared housing, which no other US airline offers. While some flight attendants at other airlines pay for “crash pads,” there’s not another major US airline with a formalized housing program like this.

On top of that, the mention of a monthly salary (rather than pay based on hours flown) as well as transportation to & from the airport does sound a lot like what you’d expect at a Gulf carrier.

What’s Breeze Airways’ motive here?

As of now this is the only contract that Breeze is hiring under. Of course it’s possible (and even likely) that in the future the company will hire under more traditional contracts.

Before we get too deep into this, I have a couple of initial thoughts:

  • How little flying are flight attendants going to be doing that they’re able to be enrolled in school full-time? Why would the company want to give itself such little scheduling flexibility?
  • There’s some risk to flight attendants here, as they’ll have to enroll and front the money for university, and will only be reimbursed if they complete flight attendant training; this will create a financial burden for many

Anyway, what’s Breeze Airways’ logic here? Why is the company only hiring people who are also willing to get an online college degree and will really only be able to work part time, rather than hiring in a similar fashion to other US airlines?

There are only two logical answers I can come up with:

  • Neeleman (who is a Mormon) somehow wants to help people get an education, so wants to hire people who would benefit from this
  • Breeze Airways is looking to hire a certain type of person quite deliberately, without violating any employment discrimination laws

Let’s talk about that second point a second. What type of people are most likely to apply for a job with Breeze under this contract?

  • Young people who may just be a couple of years out of high school, but who have a great personality
  • People without families (which also skews young), because they’ll be in shared housing with other flight attendants
  • People who may be looking for a gig for a few years, rather than a career, assuming conditions don’t change; this is beneficial to some airlines, since more senior flight attendants tend to be more expensive to keep on the payroll

It sure seems to me like Breeze is trying to hire young and charismatic flight attendants who want to be educated and want a flight attendant gig for several years. Even so, is there really upside to Breeze here? Staff won’t be able to work full-time under most circumstances, and tuition reimbursement isn’t cheap, right (or is there some connection that Neeleman has here that I’m missing)?

Bottom line

Breeze Airways has started the process of hiring flight attendants. The airline will require flight attendants to be enrolled full-time in an online college, and flight attendants will live in shred housing.

This approach to hiring is quite a contrast to what we see at other US airlines, and it’s anyone’s guess what Breeze Airways’ motive is. My best guess is that the airline is basically trying to go after a certain type of person without violating any employment discrimination laws. At least that’s the only explanation I can come up with, though I’d welcome other explanations and theories.

I’m curious if Breeze Airways has success with this, or if we see the airline soon hire under a more traditional contract.

What do you make of Breeze Airways’ approach to hiring flight attendants?

(Tip of the hat to PaxEx)

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  1. Pam

    I applied and was turned down. I already have a Bachelor’s and Master’ s degree and am a flight attendant with another airline. Don’t think this is quite fair but it is not my company.

  2. Deedee

    Well, lets wait and see. I think all employees should be 'offered' this, otherwise its discrimination. And how much is that salary? Im sure the college and boarding is part compensation, how about health insurance, and work rules? I met years ago a group of FAs living in a hotel in Toronto , required to do Portugal turns, can u imagine. Too many men on here looking for young chicks to feed their fantasies.
    ...

    Well, lets wait and see. I think all employees should be 'offered' this, otherwise its discrimination. And how much is that salary? Im sure the college and boarding is part compensation, how about health insurance, and work rules? I met years ago a group of FAs living in a hotel in Toronto , required to do Portugal turns, can u imagine. Too many men on here looking for young chicks to feed their fantasies.
    I was employed by a hospitality school years ago..funded by student gov loans, which left students with high debt and little chance of employment due to where they lived still. It was a legal sham. Its a different world for FAs now with covid and new variants popping up. Their health at living quarters and on airplanes will be extremely hard to protect. Not good. It smells of a con, we will see. Doesn't matter who runs the airline, frontline people need protection and compensation. It smells of servitude. No one should be required to exist in mass housing. The compensation thru college requirements seem sketchy, at best. Pay Your People, let them decide on college and housing on their own. Men on here need to really get of their FA fantasies. What if an airline only hired guys, are you not flying? Discrimination. What if airlines only sold tickets to young females, discrimination. Stop being Neanderthals. Its a job, a career that raised many families, bought houses, supported schools and communities. Not a beauty pagent.

  3. Andy

    A friend of mine was just hired. 50 years old, grown kids, decades spent working in another industry and wants something new. The program isn’t just for a Bachelor’s degree; a masters degree also qualifies.

  4. Blus

    I'm a flight attendant in the US in my 20's currently going to school. I have 13-17 credits a semester and balance a reserve or hard line every month and it's not easy. I have no kids, no major outside responsibilities, and I still find it difficult.
    Balancing a full course load and an FA position is not recommended. I can't imagine making a model out of this.
    While seemingly similar programs exist...

    I'm a flight attendant in the US in my 20's currently going to school. I have 13-17 credits a semester and balance a reserve or hard line every month and it's not easy. I have no kids, no major outside responsibilities, and I still find it difficult.
    Balancing a full course load and an FA position is not recommended. I can't imagine making a model out of this.
    While seemingly similar programs exist at European airlines, drawing in university students as short term flight attendants, the financial compensation and education system involved looks very little like it would under a US counterpart.

  5. Jamie

    Breeze has a new posting for part-time flight attendants who live in the Southeast. 4 year contract for part time hours, but otherwise seems more normal than their original Utah arrangement.

    https://boards.greenhouse.io/breezeairways/jobs/4366857003

  6. Pattie Christensen

    I think you may have missed that this is ONLINE education. I am currently getting a Masters Degree from University of Maryland all online. I watch the lectures and do the work according to my schedule so I still work my regular hours

  7. UpperDeckJohnny

    @Michael. Hear! hear!

    Spot on. FA is one of the few jobs where you have only a 10% view of what the job is about when you apply.

    One thing, though I'd say "(and a lot of FA's get disenchanted by the lifestyle)" Management, not actually lifestyle so much.

    Marketing deciding to reduce the soft product, cramped hard product (BA J Ying/Yang). Then just put another ad on TV for bargain deals. FA's have...

    @Michael. Hear! hear!

    Spot on. FA is one of the few jobs where you have only a 10% view of what the job is about when you apply.

    One thing, though I'd say "(and a lot of FA's get disenchanted by the lifestyle)" Management, not actually lifestyle so much.

    Marketing deciding to reduce the soft product, cramped hard product (BA J Ying/Yang). Then just put another ad on TV for bargain deals. FA's have no say in this process, despite being the total front end of the overall product.

    So to be able to facilitate those who wish to say "enough is enough" gets my vote.

  8. Michael

    I definitely see concerns if this is the ONLY type of hiring for FAs at Breeze. However, seems likely they will hire more experienced FAs as well as they get closer to flying (which is still probably 6+ months out). They just need to start hiring for this college program sooner since there are a lot of hoops to jump through (ie. getting admitted to UVU).

    One other thought - I see no reason why...

    I definitely see concerns if this is the ONLY type of hiring for FAs at Breeze. However, seems likely they will hire more experienced FAs as well as they get closer to flying (which is still probably 6+ months out). They just need to start hiring for this college program sooner since there are a lot of hoops to jump through (ie. getting admitted to UVU).

    One other thought - I see no reason why those FAs who come out of this program 4 years from now who are passionate about continuing in a career as a FA won't be able to continue in a FA career at Breeze or elsewhere. Plus, if they haven't loved the position (and a lot of FAs get disenchanted by the lifestyle), now they'll have a 4 year degree enabling them to pursue a different career they may enjoy more, with WAY more life/people skills than the average college graduate.

  9. Verna

    IF Mr. Neeleman REALLY wanted to help flight attendants get a degree - he can do what every other airline does - he can offer tuition reimbursement.
    What is so disturbing about this is that there are tens of thousands of EXPERIENCED flight attendants in this country who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own - and we someone starting an airline with flight attendant requirements so stringent that it excludes...

    IF Mr. Neeleman REALLY wanted to help flight attendants get a degree - he can do what every other airline does - he can offer tuition reimbursement.
    What is so disturbing about this is that there are tens of thousands of EXPERIENCED flight attendants in this country who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own - and we someone starting an airline with flight attendant requirements so stringent that it excludes all of them. How "NICE" is that??
    I don't think he is starting off so well. Airlines don't make profits unless there are passengers on board. How many people in Utah fly everyday? Don't be so discriminative that you forget that. I don't care how many airlines he has started - I have ZERO respect for someone who is SOOO arrogant.

  10. M

    This is pay to play. Nothing new. Avoid unions. Choose your demographic. They are not trying to build some lasting culture here. It's about control. No thank you Breeze. This business model has no business in the US.

  11. Nico

    Wow.... I WAS really looking forward to applying with this new airline ,now after reading this maybe not. I flew for 11 years with a bottom feeder regional airline with hopes of advancing to a mainline carrier, however the tragic events of Sept. 11 2001 put a halt to my hopes of that plan. I have admired and followed the career of Mr. Neeleman since his start with Morris Air. However yeah can we say...

    Wow.... I WAS really looking forward to applying with this new airline ,now after reading this maybe not. I flew for 11 years with a bottom feeder regional airline with hopes of advancing to a mainline carrier, however the tragic events of Sept. 11 2001 put a halt to my hopes of that plan. I have admired and followed the career of Mr. Neeleman since his start with Morris Air. However yeah can we say Discrimination and almost a devolving human race in the since of "taking a step backwards". Plus that will be a Logi$tical night mare . There is something bizarre almost 1950's USSR SovieComie or weird secret government funded human testing ala "area 51". Great article Ben however I believe Breeze will be leasing E195's from Azul until the A220's come online.

  12. Johnny Grimes

    @Jimmy Mack:

    Yes there are specific time frames for some of the jobs you mention. Police retire much earlier (40?) than others, military sign on for a specific term which ends.

    In my experience very few Flight Attendants join believing they will be doing the job for the rest of their lives. Due to the selection process (no criticism here, btw) the applicants best suited for the job may not have documented classic qualifications, but...

    @Jimmy Mack:

    Yes there are specific time frames for some of the jobs you mention. Police retire much earlier (40?) than others, military sign on for a specific term which ends.

    In my experience very few Flight Attendants join believing they will be doing the job for the rest of their lives. Due to the selection process (no criticism here, btw) the applicants best suited for the job may not have documented classic qualifications, but good life and customer care experience and professional qualifications to match that, ie nurses.

    After a few years, the downside of the job starts to wear. Away for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and even sometimes funerals, continued nights out of bed, time changes, etc.

    However, by that time it is difficult to switch careers to another and replicate the income, with the base qualifications.

    I am not in any way downplaying FA's skills, but merely to say they are specific.

    It's a tough job and physically demanding and a million miles away from a travel blog writer.

    I have spoken to many ME3 FA's and I would say that as many as 50% of them will work the job for a limited time, then return home. This is an automatic advantage that ME3 have, employing expats. I even spoke to an FA who was about to become a Purser but still said she was going to leave, go home, marry her boyfriend and, in her words "lead a normal life"

    Conversely I have to say that senior FA's are "good" at their job because they have learnt the skills of persuading the customer that he/she is wrong.

    Example: On AA transatlantic, nothing being produced in the cabin 40 minutes after climb.
    Me: "If this was XYZ airline, we'd be offered second drinks by now"
    FA: "If this was XYZ airline, I'd be on my second break by now"

  13. iamhere

    Consider this. The young people may really look at this like a career unlike the people for the traditional airlines. With packages that good how could they not.

  14. Jimmy Mack

    Always bizarre to me that some people think a flight attendant career shouldn't last more than 4 or 5 years. Why? What's up with that line of thinking?
    It clearly reveals an ugly bias as to how the public sees the occupation.

    Do we ask teachers to stop at 5 years? Cops? Firemen? EMTs? Coaches? Truck drivers? Travel blog writers? What's wrong with pursuing the career you chose and supporting your family for however...

    Always bizarre to me that some people think a flight attendant career shouldn't last more than 4 or 5 years. Why? What's up with that line of thinking?
    It clearly reveals an ugly bias as to how the public sees the occupation.

    Do we ask teachers to stop at 5 years? Cops? Firemen? EMTs? Coaches? Truck drivers? Travel blog writers? What's wrong with pursuing the career you chose and supporting your family for however many years you can? Don't we all want that? Why would some people deny that to flight attendants?

  15. Melanie

    UVU's President and former President are Mormon. This is blatant Religious discrimination. This is Neeleman's idea of giving tithings - only offering opportunities to Mormons. I hope the FAA and EEOC come down hard on him. This is the REAL Neeleman.

  16. Suave Duck

    Sounds like D. Neeleman is trying to get rid of the Three “G’s” that tend to proliferate flight attendant ranks.

  17. Robin

    UVU (Utah Valley University) is NOT affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). That would be Brigham Young University (BYU) which is in Provo, not Orem where UVU is located. I have children that attend both schools, and UVU is definitely NOT religious in any way! Just need to clear that up!

  18. Joe

    At first blush, this hits me as... creepy.

  19. Alexandra

    Humm..former 12 year flight attendant chooses to chime in.
    Sir, we need to sign up for what classes? Class HM101- How to Make Coffee and other Drinks.
    Class HM103- How to Serve Passengers
    Class HM104- How to Blow Up Emergency Water Evacuation Equipment
    Class HM105-Introduction to the Airline Cites and Airplanes Passenger Capacity.

  20. Eliot

    Anything that resembles “competition” to what we have to endure now is a good thing.
    American business model when it comes to commercial airlines is pathetic!!!!!!!

  21. RT

    Seems to be a firm discrimination against education. So if a candidate already has a degree they are not allowed. Discrimination against married candidates. If your married, how would housing work? A married couple sure wouldn't want to be split up to live in housing. How would that work for a married couple.. Discrimination against those with a family of their own. If the candidate has children they don't need an education and 4 years...

    Seems to be a firm discrimination against education. So if a candidate already has a degree they are not allowed. Discrimination against married candidates. If your married, how would housing work? A married couple sure wouldn't want to be split up to live in housing. How would that work for a married couple.. Discrimination against those with a family of their own. If the candidate has children they don't need an education and 4 years away from their family, only go home once a month! Dicrimatory against religion, what Muslim Catholic, or Baptist would want to attend an LDS school.

    Seems to sound like a Chinese labor camp where the workers are "living " in provided housing the worker pays for... foxcon much

  22. Kinz

    In the past I was a flight attendant for years. Unfortunately I had to resign to take care of my sister who was ill.

    I loved Jet Blue!

    As I am reading about this airline and their plan to hire attendants all I can do is laugh!!

  23. Derick

    This won't fly in the US if it is the sole hiring method. They will end up in court for age and family status discrimination. This may not be explicitly discriminating but is does have a disparate impact, as indicated in the article.

  24. Victor Warren

    I'm not sure if it was addressed but for every credit hour you are expected to spend 3 times that working out of class. So that's 9 hours a class and 30 would be 5 classes. Basically a 40 hour week. It would be tough but doable.

    I'm in my last semester at UVU now.

  25. D

    Ben, you alluded to a Gulf airline....The head of the flight attendants at Breeze worked in a similar capacity at Emirates, among her many employers, including JetBlue, Virgin, American, and Eastern.

  26. UpperDeckJohnny

    Well done Breeze! Way to go!

    The gilt usually goes off the gingerbread with a large percentage of FA's after 4/5 years. This is the turning point where they either have alternative (and equally financially rewarding) careers, or decide the break is too much of a change in their lifestyle to handle, and stay, eventually becoming the "take it or leave it" brigade of senior FA's.

    So, after this period of time, the Breeze FA...

    Well done Breeze! Way to go!

    The gilt usually goes off the gingerbread with a large percentage of FA's after 4/5 years. This is the turning point where they either have alternative (and equally financially rewarding) careers, or decide the break is too much of a change in their lifestyle to handle, and stay, eventually becoming the "take it or leave it" brigade of senior FA's.

    So, after this period of time, the Breeze FA will have achieved a good qualification, better that when they commenced work, and ready to put themselves on the market. In the "salary" comments, coupled with the offer of accommodation might help their exit when the time comes. There is a parallel with ME3 on these two issues, versus the comfortable lifestyle of heritage carriers who allow their FA's to commute and stay comfortably in their own hometown.

    This all makes total sense to me, but just my take on it.

  27. CJ

    Yeah I don’t think the cost here for Breeze is very high to be honest. If it’s like JetBlue Scholars program it’s very in-house with just some tertiary ties to Thomas Edison University. My guess is UVU cuts them a break on the tuition because it’ll look good that they’ve got all these employed grads.

  28. Lynn

    There's some good and not so good with this scheme. Mr. Neelmans reputation is solid as a LEADER and creator of airlines. He could be seeking/grooming individuals for future leadership or manager rolls with the company as it grows. But the requirements and location of said school and living requirements are surely targeting specific individuals, in a specific region, known to have specific beliefs thst are close to that of Skywest Airlines..LMAO. hes also taking...

    There's some good and not so good with this scheme. Mr. Neelmans reputation is solid as a LEADER and creator of airlines. He could be seeking/grooming individuals for future leadership or manager rolls with the company as it grows. But the requirements and location of said school and living requirements are surely targeting specific individuals, in a specific region, known to have specific beliefs thst are close to that of Skywest Airlines..LMAO. hes also taking the professionalism away from the career in a very careful methodical way, in the form of a guise of goodwill to young people. It's not bad but it aint all good either. I dont feel that great about it, but i can appreciate the direction of intent to make good come of this. Its the underlying problems tcan see with this. I hope i made sense.

  29. Jose cuevas

    If what you want as an airline is to help your flight attendant group get a college degree than there are many ways to go about it but this is not one of them. This is a blatant scheme to surpass the laws of the u.s.a. labor laws. Discrimination out right. When I first started reading about this coming airline I was excited. Now I'm so disappointed. I was even willing to work for them....

    If what you want as an airline is to help your flight attendant group get a college degree than there are many ways to go about it but this is not one of them. This is a blatant scheme to surpass the laws of the u.s.a. labor laws. Discrimination out right. When I first started reading about this coming airline I was excited. Now I'm so disappointed. I was even willing to work for them. I've been a flight attendant for 28 years and because of the pandemic I took a retirement package. I saw hope in this airline, but now I'm appalled at this way of conducting business. This airline has all the signs of the airlines back in the 50s and 60s and 70s . Discrimination when it comes to gender, race, religion, sexual preference and on and on. Really sad. Now with what I know I won't even fly them as a passenger. Always remember you can not teach experience and with experience comes good work ethics, greT customer service, and great safety habits most of all.

  30. Marco

    Malaysia Airlines.....stupid phone!!

  31. Jose cuevas

    I think the executives at breeze know exactly what they are aiming for. They also know it's not going to work. But they are trying it out anyway. You can not put these types of stipulations on the flight attendant group and think they will be successful. And that's the point. Let's have a revolving door policy. This way we can claim that we can not get suitable work force in the u.s.a. and that...

    I think the executives at breeze know exactly what they are aiming for. They also know it's not going to work. But they are trying it out anyway. You can not put these types of stipulations on the flight attendant group and think they will be successful. And that's the point. Let's have a revolving door policy. This way we can claim that we can not get suitable work force in the u.s.a. and that will open the doors to more out sourcing from Brazil where they clearly have the backing and resourcing. Shameful. It will go on for several years, they'll have their great profits, and be ahead of the game by the time laws are intituded.

  32. Marco

    The best FAs with great personalities have been Malaysian Airlines.

  33. Just Me

    While it’s appealing to have young and pretty flight attendants, you need flight attendants with some life experience. The position requires quick thinking at times with very little information. You are making decisions for the passengers and crew. We do our best to make team decisions, but often times it is just one person that will go to the crew and captain. Additionally you often work with new people on each trip and have new...

    While it’s appealing to have young and pretty flight attendants, you need flight attendants with some life experience. The position requires quick thinking at times with very little information. You are making decisions for the passengers and crew. We do our best to make team decisions, but often times it is just one person that will go to the crew and captain. Additionally you often work with new people on each trip and have new passengers each flight. Flight attendants ARE there for your safety. While college can give you a much different perspective on life and help you broaden your mind’s horizon, this approach to hiring flight attendants leaves me feeling perplexed.
    It definitely is targeting a certain demographic. But some of the ideas don’t seem bad. Being on reserve is very difficult and you never have enough money. So having the shared housing and a trip home each month is appealing. However, being a flight attendant is tiring, no matter your age. Being in school, even online will be stressful for many. In addition to the already stressful job of being a flight attendant. Where one is supposed to “leave their baggage at the door”. In many ways your inviting trouble into the airline with the school, plus minimum grades, living together and the stressful lifestyle of being an FA. I think they will back track before long. All the big airlines have had a terrible time retaining their younger 20’s hires.

  34. Kelly

    I have read Neelemans book about the founding of jetblue.
    It’s nothing new.

    Young Flight Attendants generally have good attitudes, and are enthusiastic.
    Young F/A’s don’t mind helping customers
    Young F/A’s Don’t get injured requiring workman’s comp
    Young F/A’s don’t worry about health insurance
    Young F/A’s don’t mind long hours away from family
    Young F/A’s are more easily manipulated by crew scheduling
    Young F/A’s are much cheaper....

    I have read Neelemans book about the founding of jetblue.
    It’s nothing new.

    Young Flight Attendants generally have good attitudes, and are enthusiastic.
    Young F/A’s don’t mind helping customers
    Young F/A’s Don’t get injured requiring workman’s comp
    Young F/A’s don’t worry about health insurance
    Young F/A’s don’t mind long hours away from family
    Young F/A’s are more easily manipulated by crew scheduling
    Young F/A’s are much cheaper. You can give them free travel in lieu of pay...benefits
    Customers prefer to be around them. Don’t you just love the old, snarky ones that just hate people? Not that I blame them 4 years of that job is enough for anyone.

    Really this has always been his MO. The job was never meant to be a whole career.

    It is in the best interest for everyone save one group....
    Women in their 30’s-40’s who want to work in this field.

  35. Bubba

    Okay, here are the perversions in this plan:
    First, the airline isn't going to do most of the recruiting selection. That's the (taxpayer-subsidized) state university, which admits students into a BA program in flight-attendancy.
    Second, the airline is not paying for training washouts. The washouts are.
    Third, the move to online courses during the pandemic has not changed the fact that online learning, distance-learning, MOOCs, or whatever you want to call it,...

    Okay, here are the perversions in this plan:
    First, the airline isn't going to do most of the recruiting selection. That's the (taxpayer-subsidized) state university, which admits students into a BA program in flight-attendancy.
    Second, the airline is not paying for training washouts. The washouts are.
    Third, the move to online courses during the pandemic has not changed the fact that online learning, distance-learning, MOOCs, or whatever you want to call it, has had over a half-century to prove itself (from at least PLATO), and hasn't. It's only barely functioning now because students and teachers are making an enormous effort to do so in exceptional times.
    Fourth, while it is the case that many students have to balance full-time careers and full-time enrollment, most reputable universities recognize that this situation is not ideal, and try to mitigate it. Here is a scheme that plans otherwise. What happens when there's a major life event in a student's life, when that person is studying 45 hours a week and working 20? Typically, that student has a bad semester. And that means they lose their funding.
    Finally, what's this great life after college going to be? The airline has a very cheap source of new workers, and an obligation to the state of Utah to keep them coming in. The benefits package is dismal for the field (one flight a month, and to one preselected destination). Most of these graduates will not be retained. Will the legacy airlines want to validate this business model by hiring these BAs in flight attendancy? And if not, what is the value of such a degree for someone who doesn't want to work in the field?

    In other words, this model screws the universities, offends the aviation industry, but most of all, robs the students of an education and of the best four years of their life.

  36. Victoria

    Anyone else think the shared housing and blatant recruiting of young people makes me wonder if there isn’t a reality TV-type something or other lurking in this one.

  37. C Kilgore

    Lol....Soooo if you are motivated enough to get your degree on your own you are disqualified? Hmm

    Also, great personality is what all airlines look for.

    Lastly, I’ve flown at 2 different companies. Every airline wants their FA’s to only do it for a couple of years. Remember back in the day when you had to quit at 31? Thus why most of us are union now, so they can’t force us out and...

    Lol....Soooo if you are motivated enough to get your degree on your own you are disqualified? Hmm

    Also, great personality is what all airlines look for.

    Lastly, I’ve flown at 2 different companies. Every airline wants their FA’s to only do it for a couple of years. Remember back in the day when you had to quit at 31? Thus why most of us are union now, so they can’t force us out and have to pay us livable wages.

    None of these things, except the online education part, are new ideas. Lol

    Stupid.

  38. BERKLEY WILLIAMS

    If it's being done through the guy who started JetBlue I'm a believer. That is my favorite airline. I wish they flew all over the world. Not sure why they never launched out and went all over internationally. They certainly put together an excellent airline and I will pay more to fly them than somebody else where I can save money most of the time. If you ask me the answer about what they're doing...

    If it's being done through the guy who started JetBlue I'm a believer. That is my favorite airline. I wish they flew all over the world. Not sure why they never launched out and went all over internationally. They certainly put together an excellent airline and I will pay more to fly them than somebody else where I can save money most of the time. If you ask me the answer about what they're doing is all about money. It almost always is. I think they're going to try to produce a very good service but at a good price and that means you've got to limit your overhead.

  39. John M

    Lucky,
    I guess I come at this with a different perspective than most people here. I have lived in SLC since 1975 and have known David since 1986, when he became the Operations VP at Morris Air. Over the years we have worked in cooperatively and competitively. I can attest that he and his family are Mormons, but that has never impacted who is hired or who isn't hired. Dave has always gone after...

    Lucky,
    I guess I come at this with a different perspective than most people here. I have lived in SLC since 1975 and have known David since 1986, when he became the Operations VP at Morris Air. Over the years we have worked in cooperatively and competitively. I can attest that he and his family are Mormons, but that has never impacted who is hired or who isn't hired. Dave has always gone after the people that he felt had a great attitude and be taught the necessary job skills later. This is a way to get great employees at a lower cost. Bill Marriott, of Marriott Hotels, has that some approach. Dave has always been an inventive businessman and I expect the same sort of thing at Breeze.

    Breeze will have shared housing in SLC. Transportation to/from the airport is relatively cheap, as transportation to downtown SLC.

    The folks who think that the student body attending UVU are all good Mormons who don't party have confused it with BYU. BYU is a private university owned and run by the LDS Church Or the Mormons. UVU is a university owned and run by the State of Utah. I'm not sure how far the tuition reimbursement will go towards covering 15 credit hours per semester, but it is more than most airlines cover.

    I look forward to seeing what Dave does this time and I'm sure he will be at more Jazz games now that he is back in town.

  40. Christian

    The whole thing just feels wrong and creepy.

  41. Ann

    And what about the 45 year old who already has a degree? Or the married candidate with children who wants to commute? I see problems looming.

  42. Dylan

    I think this scheme has two parts:
    1) to get around labor laws in terms of fair compensation (actual money, not just living accomodations, a pittance of a stipend, and tuition assistance).
    2) it's an LDS college. This is quite possibly a ploy to bring more people into their cult.

  43. Lune

    Lucky, they're only offering max $6k per year, which is not a huge expense (probably less than what their health insurance costs them). Since this is a public school, if they recruit local Utah residents, the in-state tuition will likely be much less. What's more, they'll be saving on the shared housing, and I'm assuming the wages will be significantly lower since they provide housing. All told, their total compensation cost will probably come in...

    Lucky, they're only offering max $6k per year, which is not a huge expense (probably less than what their health insurance costs them). Since this is a public school, if they recruit local Utah residents, the in-state tuition will likely be much less. What's more, they'll be saving on the shared housing, and I'm assuming the wages will be significantly lower since they provide housing. All told, their total compensation cost will probably come in at least somewhat under the average.

    Overall, I'm of somewhat 2 minds over this, and I think it boils down to whether you think being a flight attendant should be a lifelong career, or a temporary step to something else. If you believe that flight attendants continue to gain skills and become better at their job as the years and decades go by (like we believe with pilots), then there's value in keeping them around for a long time. If, on the other hand, you think that the skills of being a flight attendant can be learned within a couple of years and then there's not much more to improve, and it shouldn't be viewed as a real "career", then you're probably okay with expecting people to move on. It's akin to McDonalds, who expects that the 16 year olds it hires to flip burgers aren't going to stay burger flippers for very long, and will either leave to other careers, or, if they stay at McDonalds will graduate to higher positions. They even have their own Burger University to train people into more advanced jobs, and provides tuition assistance for the teenagers that it hires so they can move on to other careers.

    It appears that Breeze believes in the latter, and thinks they won't be at a disadvantage by having younger, less experienced FAs. If you agree, then this is a great program: it gives people who might not otherwise have the means to go to college and improve their life, a way to do it by essentially working a part-time gig as a flight attendant. Plenty of people work while going to school. But if you think that being a flight attendant should be a lifelong career, with continued professional development and improved work output, then this could be a bad long-term plan. I guess we'll have to see which way it goes for them.

  44. CG

    Just what the world needs right now, another airline.

    DN actually is an aviation genius, but the universe has colluded to tell him it's the wrong moment.

  45. Tony

    I would be curious about the terms of the contracts regarding dropping out. Will the enrollees be on the hook for paying back lodging, traveling, education assistance, and back salary? Also does the degree actually have intrinsic value? If enrollees are on the hook for those financial obligations and/or the degree has no intrinsic value, then it's starting to look a lot like one of those exploitative training programs (that often are held under a...

    I would be curious about the terms of the contracts regarding dropping out. Will the enrollees be on the hook for paying back lodging, traveling, education assistance, and back salary? Also does the degree actually have intrinsic value? If enrollees are on the hook for those financial obligations and/or the degree has no intrinsic value, then it's starting to look a lot like one of those exploitative training programs (that often are held under a franchise or fictitious independent contractor setup) that indenture individuals through clever contract drafting.

  46. Christina

    Yes, I do think it is discriminatory. I would love to see a bunch of older women, and men, apply, then use the education to get their master’s or PhDs. It does not appear that there is a restriction for only undergrads. THEN, when those people are not hired, start a class action suit against them. Ha, Ha!!!

  47. Sung

    I think it is a good offer, regardless of the religious reason for it. It is not like they are demanding to join LDS. If someone has no university degree and has no prospects, this might be the push they need. They study and get to travel. When they are done, they can move to larger airlines, if offer is better, with a degree to boot. Or they can simply change careers. It would be...

    I think it is a good offer, regardless of the religious reason for it. It is not like they are demanding to join LDS. If someone has no university degree and has no prospects, this might be the push they need. They study and get to travel. When they are done, they can move to larger airlines, if offer is better, with a degree to boot. Or they can simply change careers. It would be a win win for people in certain situations. Sure, there is a risk, since you have the front the fee at first, but if you are serious about it, it shouldn't be a problem.

  48. JHC

    Such a fasinating twist to Breeze - I need to add that Utah Valley University is not Morman affiliated, it is the largest public university in the State of Utah and not part of the LDS church. My partner actually just applied for an academic job there and it required zero statements of faith like many actually private Christian schools require from job applicants.

    It still seems like a very bizzare way to staff an...

    Such a fasinating twist to Breeze - I need to add that Utah Valley University is not Morman affiliated, it is the largest public university in the State of Utah and not part of the LDS church. My partner actually just applied for an academic job there and it required zero statements of faith like many actually private Christian schools require from job applicants.

    It still seems like a very bizzare way to staff an airline, any word if Breeze will or won't serve booze? I still remember a friend said they flew Southwest once on one of the Southwest Holidays with free booze with a SLC based crew and the Morman flight attendants were downright mean to them for requesting their free drink.

  49. MKLDH

    If we put the religion stuff away, this plan actually sounds like an ideal one if the airline is trying to build a united corporate culture and community. Of course this is a risky investment, but I can see a future where the company becomes known for hospitable crew members and keeps the overall labor costs low at the same time.

  50. DMC

    This situation is blatant age discrimination, plain and simple. The 50 and 60 year olds in my JetBlue training class - most of whom went on to be very good flight attendants - would not be interested in this arrangement.

  51. Stuart

    It's absolutely an attempt to recruit more LDS F/A's through a back door program. Or to take those young and not yet LDS, and get them enrolled in a program that will push it.

    To a certain extent, there is something to be said for wanting to stack the ranks with LDS. Despite the absurdity of the religion as a whole (I don't care, judge me) there is something to be said about the...

    It's absolutely an attempt to recruit more LDS F/A's through a back door program. Or to take those young and not yet LDS, and get them enrolled in a program that will push it.

    To a certain extent, there is something to be said for wanting to stack the ranks with LDS. Despite the absurdity of the religion as a whole (I don't care, judge me) there is something to be said about the lifestyle inside the LDS. No alcohol, weed, and no smoking, and as a result a better overall health with their younger members - leads to less sick days for employees and less of a party culture like Jet Blue has been notorious for (remember the Jet Blue pilots and F/A's in Puerto Rico and the kerfuffle over that?).

    The only thing DN forgets with this is that they will leave when they are 26 to have 14 kids. Or, hmmm, maybe that's what he wants? To keep the ranks from becoming senior?

  52. Sandi Cugno

    It sounds like a good idea to begin with as the education system has been thirsty to stabilize how students learn. I think it takes a great commitment to stick to the plan. After all , some people may find it helpful when other ways had failed. This approach has my vote to a promising future.

  53. James S

    "Breeze Airways is looking to hire a certain type of person quite deliberately, without violating any employment discrimination law"

    Reminds me of Hooters Air. This dude wants a bunch of hot (blonde*) 19 year olds but you cant exactly do that these days

    *Utah

  54. Chase

    It's pretty clear what they are doing, and it's brilliant if you really think about it. Your third point above touches on it, but what they really want is to educate these employees enough to realize they are worth more in the market than being a flight attendant the rest of their lives. So Breeze gets young, cheap labor that it subliminally conditions to 'grow' out of the FA role in 5-10 years, so it...

    It's pretty clear what they are doing, and it's brilliant if you really think about it. Your third point above touches on it, but what they really want is to educate these employees enough to realize they are worth more in the market than being a flight attendant the rest of their lives. So Breeze gets young, cheap labor that it subliminally conditions to 'grow' out of the FA role in 5-10 years, so it can complete the cycle again and retain a low/er cost base than the competition. It's a win-win for the employee (education and job) and Breeze (low cost base & avoid running afoul of labor regs and the senior mama's union).

    1. Ben

      @ Chase -- All of which I agree with, except a) they're essentially getting part time flight attendants and b) unless there's a financial connection I'm missing, the airline will spend a significant amount of money on these credits for education, no?

  55. Business

    AA: Flight attendant training in Forth Worth / Corporate Office in Forth Worth
    United: Flight attendant training in Chicago / Corporate Office in Chicago
    Delta: Flight attendant training in Atlanta / Corporate Office in Atlanta

    Really, you can't connect the dots?

    1. Ben

      @ Business -- I don't follow what the location of the training has to do with anything else?

  56. Gene

    @ Ben -- "who is a Mormon". There is your answer. This should be illegal, except ACB...

  57. Alpha Golf

    Wikipedia reports that Orem UT, where the university is located, is 97% Mormon.

    Pretty clear what they're going for...

  58. Grant

    @Chris C, "30 hours" doesn't mean what you think it means in this instance. The key here is that "30 hours" really means "30 credit hours". Most American colleges & universities follow a semester system, whereby students complete two semesters per year, and in this case that will work out to 15 credit hours per semester. Typically, a credit hour reflects how many hours are spent in lecture or class time per week (so not...

    @Chris C, "30 hours" doesn't mean what you think it means in this instance. The key here is that "30 hours" really means "30 credit hours". Most American colleges & universities follow a semester system, whereby students complete two semesters per year, and in this case that will work out to 15 credit hours per semester. Typically, a credit hour reflects how many hours are spent in lecture or class time per week (so not including studying/homework/etc.). So, the expectation here is that the flight attendants will spend 15 hours per week in classes and lectures, plus additional time studying. 15 credit hours is considered a full load of classes in university. No doubt, this represents a huge time commitment and Lucky is absolutely correct to speculate on how this will conflict with work schedules.

  59. Business

    Lucky - It's very worrisome to me that you immediately gravitated towards this being some nefarious plan that involves one's religion. A quick Google Maps search would show you to Utah Valley University is only ~35 minutes from Breeze's corporate headquarters.

    I'm sure there's likely a connection between this move and a purposeful sidestepping of any eventual flight attendant's union.

    1. Ben

      @ Business -- Sorry, I'm not sure what the location has to do with it in this case? Yes, flight attendant training may happen in Salt Lake City, but that won't be one of the first cities they serve, and presumably most flight attendants will be based in other cities.

  60. BA from BWI

    @ChrisC - 30 course hours most likely means 30 credits per year (same as a standard 4-year program) which equates to 15 hours of classes per week.

  61. Matthew

    This may also be an LDS recruitment push with the UVU requirement https://www.uvu.edu/visitors/aboutuvu.html#:~:text=Known%20for%20its%20high%20moral,biking%2C%20water%20recreation%20and%20more.

  62. MG

    Definately a unique approach from my friend who started with Republic. Adding on, zero to political in only 4 comments is quite a feat.

  63. Jerry Sauter

    Maybe they can merge with FedEx, and the new airline will be called "Febreeze"

  64. Dick Bupkiss

    You say they're looking for:

    "Young people who may just be a couple of years out of high school, but who have a great personality"

    By "a great personality" I presume you mean, "young and physically attractive" (but are afraid to come out and say it). So they want hot young women. Nothing new there, but as effective that might be as a marketing gimmick ("Singapore Girls", anyone?) I suspect this would quickly run into...

    You say they're looking for:

    "Young people who may just be a couple of years out of high school, but who have a great personality"

    By "a great personality" I presume you mean, "young and physically attractive" (but are afraid to come out and say it). So they want hot young women. Nothing new there, but as effective that might be as a marketing gimmick ("Singapore Girls", anyone?) I suspect this would quickly run into all sorts of messy legal issues.

    Pretty, inexpensive, loyal, disposable. Sounds like the ideal employee in the Trump Organization.

    Mormons you say, eh?

    1. Ben

      @ Dick Bupkiss -- I can't speak to their motives, but I can tell you that by "great personality" I mean "great personality," and not "young and physically attractive." Neeleman has done a great job building airlines with good cultures. JetBlue's employees are phenomenal and overwhelmingly have a great attitude (and that was even more the case when the airline started), though I wouldn't say they're much younger or more physically attractive than at other airlines.

  65. ChrisC

    "...as full-time online students, completing 30 course hours per year; "

    "How little flying are flight attendants going to be doing that they’re able to be enrolled in school full-time? Why would the company want to give itself such little scheduling flexibility?"

    If the study is only 30 hours a year then somehow I don't think that's going to affect work schedules too much. Especially if these are online and can be done anytime. A...

    "...as full-time online students, completing 30 course hours per year; "

    "How little flying are flight attendants going to be doing that they’re able to be enrolled in school full-time? Why would the company want to give itself such little scheduling flexibility?"

    If the study is only 30 hours a year then somehow I don't think that's going to affect work schedules too much. Especially if these are online and can be done anytime. A a full time FA isn't like being a full time office worker is it?

    Unless you got the course hours wrong? Or the Advert is wrong (that says 'completing 30 hours a year')

  66. Cliff

    Sounds exactly like those old scams where young men and women had to sign up for expensive modelling courses before they were offered a modelling contract....

  67. Adil

    "People who may be looking for a gig for a few years, rather than a career...."

    I wonder if a significant investment of time and money would make this attractive to people looking for a gig?

Featured Comments Load all 71 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Pam

I applied and was turned down. I already have a Bachelor’s and Master’ s degree and am a flight attendant with another airline. Don’t think this is quite fair but it is not my company.

Deedee

Well, lets wait and see. I think all employees should be 'offered' this, otherwise its discrimination. And how much is that salary? Im sure the college and boarding is part compensation, how about health insurance, and work rules? I met years ago a group of FAs living in a hotel in Toronto , required to do Portugal turns, can u imagine. Too many men on here looking for young chicks to feed their fantasies. I was employed by a hospitality school years ago..funded by student gov loans, which left students with high debt and little chance of employment due to where they lived still. It was a legal sham. Its a different world for FAs now with covid and new variants popping up. Their health at living quarters and on airplanes will be extremely hard to protect. Not good. It smells of a con, we will see. Doesn't matter who runs the airline, frontline people need protection and compensation. It smells of servitude. No one should be required to exist in mass housing. The compensation thru college requirements seem sketchy, at best. Pay Your People, let them decide on college and housing on their own. Men on here need to really get of their FA fantasies. What if an airline only hired guys, are you not flying? Discrimination. What if airlines only sold tickets to young females, discrimination. Stop being Neanderthals. Its a job, a career that raised many families, bought houses, supported schools and communities. Not a beauty pagent.

Andy

A friend of mine was just hired. 50 years old, grown kids, decades spent working in another industry and wants something new. The program isn’t just for a Bachelor’s degree; a masters degree also qualifies.

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