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American Airlines’ flight attendants are so broke that they receive poverty verification letters to prove they live at or below the poverty level.

Poverty Level is defined by different guidelines in each state. The poverty level in Alaska is defined as $18,810 annually for 1 single person with no dependents.

American Airlines’ flight attendants qualify for food stamps, according to The letter states newly hired flight attendants earn a “projected annual salary [of] $27,315 per year before incentives and taxes”.

“Any courtesy you can provide would be appreciated,” the letter reads.

The last raise for American Airlines workers was in 2019. A new raise was delayed by the pandemic in 2020.

The highest salary an American Airlines flight attendant can expect to earn annually is $68.25 an hour after she’s been on the job for 13 years.

Flight attendants working reserve are guaranteed 75 hours per month. Some cabin crew work 15 hours a day. While others work just 5 hours a day.

A flight attendant’s hours do not include time spent on the ground, waiting for connecting flights, or boarding planes. They only get paid for hours worked in the air.

Other major airlines like Delta and United already have profit-sharing plans for their employees. But American’s CEO Robert Isom had argued that flight attendants “don’t contribute to profit so shouldn’t get a piece of it.”

Isom earns an annual salary of $31.4 million. The top 4 executives at American Airlines earn a combined annual salary of $61.6 million.