Amtrak OBS shortage and salary

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Just out of curiosity, what is the total number of OBS personnel currently employed by the airlines compared to the total number currently employed by Amtrak? What is the length of the training airlines OBS personnel must undergo before they are deemed qualified to do the job? Because it takes place totally within the private sector, is the recruitment and training of airlines OBS personnel more efficient or less efficient than Amtrak? How many hours does the average airlines OBS person put in per week as compared to an average Amtrak OBS person?
 
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Just out of curiosity, what is the total number of OBS personnel currently employed by the airlines compared to the total number currently employed by Amtrak? What is the length of the training airlines OBS personnel must undergo before they are deemed qualified to do the job? Because it takes place totally within the private sector, is the recruitment and training of airlines OBS personnel more efficient or less efficient than Amtrak? How many hours does the average airlines OBS person put in per week as compared to an average Amtrak OBS person?
My understanding was that OBS on the airlines (flight attendants) are actually considered flight crew, and have additional duties on top of their "hospitality" function. So it might not really be an apple-to-apple compariuson.
 
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My understanding was that OBS on the airlines (flight attendants) are actually considered flight crew, and have additional duties on top of their "hospitality" function. So it might not really be an apple-to-apple compariuson.
It would be interesting to compare the job descriptions for airlines OBS personnel and Amtrak OBS personnel to see how their duties differ or are similar.
 

Bob Dylan

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My understanding was that OBS on the airlines (flight attendants) are actually considered flight crew, and have additional duties on top of their "hospitality" function. So it might not really be an apple-to-apple compariuson.
Amtrak OBS have some of the same duties Airline Flight Attendants do, so it is an Apple to Apple Comparison.
 

amtrakpass

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Not sure if this is still the case these days but in years past some flight attendant and ground crew friends of mine had quite a bit more flexibility as far as taking an extended leave of absence or only working once in awhile and still being able to maintain their seniority. Then when the time was right they would go back full time. From talking to older railroaders that used to be the case on many railroads in previous generations too where someone might have a side job, for example in construction but take a call once a month to maintain seniority.
But at some point in history the carriers wanted full time employees or nothing.

I only mention it because it seems to me a greater flexibility for seasonal work and filling open spots quickly might help fill some vacancies if some new hiring ideas were tried. There is no perfect system but I hope some new methods are at least explored along with better wages
 
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jis

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Amtrak OBS have some of the same duties Airline Flight Attendants do, so it is an Apple to Apple Comparison.
Actually close but no Cigar. There is a regulatory mandate for specific minimum number of cabin crew in air. There is no regulatory mandate for the number of OBS crew on Amtrak or any other passenger train. OTOH there is a regulatory mandate for minimum number of T&E crew on trains. There are additional contractual requirements for crew, but those are not mandated by any regulation. So in some sense the flight crew plus the minimum mandated cabin crew in air is equivalent to the minimum mandated T&E crew on trains. The train OBS are not part of it.
 
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Mike G

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The rule of thumb for cabin attendance is 1 per 50 PAX however the seating arrangement and emergency exits placement requires complete ground PAX exit in 90 seconds for certification, so 1 per 50 could conceivably be 2 ( leave your damn carry-on bags and get your a** off ). There is basically 7 weeks training and there are written and physical gates that are required to met at the end of each instructional block and yes they do have wash-outs and self eliminations during the “school house“ training. Once a year they return to the school house for refresher training and annual certification. Crew rest requirements are not as tight as the cockpit crew they are required 9 hours undisturbed rest for every 14 hours duty, and the standard “10 hours between bottle and throttle” as the old expression goes. The f***ed thing is their duty day clock starts at push back and ends at touch down so you can see the regional crew has to be a math wizard when they have multiple stops during their duty day. Boarding and Deplaning, WX, broke down aircraft, and any other delays is all non duty time ( free labor for the airlines ) that is their cross their cross they carry. There is a laundry list of medication’s that are not allowed to be taken and fly along with various illnesses. Personal experience is there no way to compare Amtraks crew to aircraft crews because Amtrak could at most cross 2 times zones in 24 hours and a flight from say Tokyo to the West Coast crosses 14 time zone and goes back in time crossing the Date Line all in 11 hours, and that body effect is a cumulative over the years. One key point I forgot HOURLY PAY is from push back to touch down. modern long range aircrafts have unseen crew rest area, you can Google it if interested. Learning all the rules and exceptions is a never end process as some seam to “change with wind direction” as another old expression goes. They unfortunately burn out before the front end guys do.
 

west point

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Mike G. What airline are you speaking.? Duty timeis continous from scheduled check in to usually 15 minutes after for getting passengers off and debriefing for both cockpit crew and FAs. Also minimum number of FAs required is dependent on capacity of air plane not number of passengers on A/C. 1 FA for each 50 passenger seats. So 51 sesats 2 FAs required. FAA requirements. Of course can have more FAs assigned especially for meal service.
 

Seaboard92

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Mike G. What airline are you speaking.? Duty timeis continous from scheduled check in to usually 15 minutes after for getting passengers off and debriefing for both cockpit crew and FAs. Also minimum number of FAs required is dependent on capacity of air plane not number of passengers on A/C. 1 FA for each 50 passenger seats. So 51 sesats 2 FAs required. FAA requirements. Of course can have more FAs assigned especially for meal service.

Actual flight attendant speaking here working off my contract. Duty time starts 15 minutes prior to boarding which given larger airports, and the fact KCM randoms almost 2 out of 3 people these days you could argue should be 30 minutes to 45 minutes prior depending on how long it takes to get to the gate. The FAA minimum of FAs is completely dependent on capacity as you have stated. The FAR is 1 FA per 50 Seats not PAX. And god trying to match it with loads I could see that creating some problems for crew planning and crew scheduling. Now you have the scope clause with most regional airlines that prevent them from flying larger A/C like the E190 because of the agreements with the various pilot unions at the mainline carrier.

Duty off is 15 minutes after block in. Now we get to the fun things in my contract. I am allowed to work 14 hours before I go on law to borrow the railroad terminal. Now in IROPS they can extend me to 15 hours. And if the door is closed before I law out then I can continue onto the destination. This sometimes makes a good threat when I'm close to lawing out and passengers take forever to board and get settled. I've hit a few 16 hour days and they are painful but doable.

I'm also allowed to work for 6 days straight before I must take a day off. I block my days together in six day pairs so I can spend time with Viktoria for a week every month in St. Petersburg. Now that I have a line it will be much easier to do that and control my life.

Now this is an FAA thing on flight attendants other countries might do it differently but the rule is pretty standard. Some airlines especially the more service oriented ones like Turkish, Aeroflot, Qatar, Emirates, etc.. they tend to have more flight attendants. Last time I did the Turkish A321 it had I want to say 5 or 6 FAs, AA only runs with 4. Same aircraft type different airlines but they have vastly different service standards. Turkish will give you a full meal on a two hour flight. I should know I ZED on them a lot.
 

Seaboard92

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I actually just helped a friend apply for the LSA opening in Chicago. She and her family fled the war in Ukraine and she's looking for jobs and she is a perfect fit for the job. A background in managing a large resort in Kherson, owning a chain of coffee shops, and a masters degree in hospitality management. So when I saw that opening I sent it to her, and the other day after I took them on the Polar Express we applied for it together in the back seat of the van off my personal hot spot on my phone. I think she would make a great LSA, customer oriented, great english, and she's not going to be one of the LSA's we all complain about who makes up her own rules to have her own little kingdom. So good luck to her getting the job.
 
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