Flight Attendant Fatigue: A Quantitative Review of Flight Attendant Comments
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION OKLAHOMA CITY OK CIVIL AEROSPACE MEDICAL INST
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Todays aviation industry is a 247 operation that produces a variety of challenges for cabin crew members, including extended duty periods, limited time off, frequent time zone changes, jet lag, less-than-optimal sleeping conditions, and nonstandard work hours such as night duty and rotating schedules. Despite operational requirements, the bodys biological need for sleep does not change. In other words, individuals are not physiologically prepared to operate effectively on the 247 schedules that define todays flight operations. In 2008, the FAA was congressionally mandated to examine fatigue implications for cabin crew operations. A survey was developed as one of six projects to identify the type and frequency of fatigue experienced by flight attendants and to assess how fatigue may impact airline safety. This content analysis provides a quantitative review of flight attendants comments that were provided on the congressionally mandated survey that was conducted in 2008. This report can be used as a supplement to interpret the published survey results Avers et al., 2009b. Two hundred surveys were randomly selected for each type of operation and level of seniority. A total of 1,800 surveys with comments were content analyzed 936 paper, 864 online. Eight broad comment categories were identified scheduling, health, airline and airline policy, job performance and job satisfaction, meals, survey satisfaction, workload, and break facilities. Each category consisted of multiple positive and negative issues identified by the flight attendants. The report outlines the most frequently reported categories and issues, summarizes the key issues by type of operation low-cost, regional, network carrier and seniority level, and provides examples of actual respondent comments for the most commonly identified topics.
- Commercial and General Aviation
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Stress Physiology