Gillet, A. et Tremblay, D.-G. (2021). Working in the air: Time management and work intensification challenges for workers in commercial aviation. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 9(1), 272-290.
In the air transport sector, the work of flight attendants is characterised by the diversity of their temporalities and working hours. The constraints of working time have impacts on the organization of other activities and social times of the staff. This text shows the diversity of working hours and the way they are articulated to other temporalities, in a working context where the cabin crew is constantly changing, working on different temporary teams. The paper analyses the regulations, the definition of working time and the specific method of calculating this chronological time dedicated to the work activity. It shows the intensification of work experienced by the flight attendants, the fragmentation and heterogeneity of working times. The constraints of atypical working hours are analysed through timetables and the tensions experienced between professional, family and personal times. Professional activities are characterised by a diversity of working and non-working times that are strongly interconnected. Some national particularities highlighted can offer interesting solutions to several difficulties experienced elsewhere and illustrate ways of adjusting or getting around the working time issues specific to the work of the flight attendants. This paper is based on theoretical and empirical research carried out with air hostesses, stewards and pursers employed in several regular, low-cost and charter airlines in Canada and in several European countries.