Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

We all like a bargain.

You'd think, though, that no one gets better bargains on flights than those who work for airlines.

The more senior you are, the more glamorous your flying schedule.

Yes, you have to work along the way, but you're being paid and you at least have a little time off when you land.

It seems, though, that some American Airlines Flight Attendants are taking advantage of their flying privileges.

As Lewis Lazare reports in the Chicago Business Journal, senior Flight Attendants are being accused of hoarding the best trips.

You see, it's the senior staff who get first dibs on long-haul flights to fancy destinations.

It seems that some may be storing these assignments and then selling them to junior members of staff.

For as little -- or, depending on your perspective, as much -- as $200.

Not only does this appear an unseemly way to make a little money on the side, but it also stymies middle-ranking Flight Attendants from having access to these trips.

I contacted the airline for its view and will update, should the airline get back to me.

Lazare reports that American management is a little tired of this behavior. It sent a memo, he says, warning that this sort of thing should cease.

It's also said to be using technology to track the alleged offenders' activities.

The airline also let drop its suspicion that the majority of culprits are those who came over from US Airways, the dreary carrier taken over by American in 2013. 

How, though, might such behavior affect passengers?

My own suspicion is that the more junior Flight Attendants tend to come across as liking their jobs a fraction more.

After all, if this is new to them, they'll likely put in extra effort. 

Especially if they've paid $200 for the privilege of working the flight.

As for the more senior Flight Attendants who may be running this sort of business on the side, what does it say about how much they like their jobs and how safe they must feel in their trading system?

Then again, perhaps they're setting an interesting precedent.

What if senior management in, say, tech companies paid junior staff $200 to attend meetings on their behalf?

What if management in all sorts of organizations did the same?

What if Congresspeople paid their staff to attend committees that decide (or don't) on important issues?

Can you imagine the enthusiastic juniors sitting there, thinking: "Gosh, I paid $200 to be here and it's just as dull as I feared it would be."?

Published on: May 1, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.