If you’ve never seen her, the Aluminum Lady is a character developed by Gailen David to parody greedy airline executives. Although, it’s fair to say that the Aluminum Lady isn’t above attacking any kind of greedy executive.
As a former American Airlines flight attendant, David created the character to bring attention to the corrupt executives and foster support for workers everywhere. David draws on his experience flying through his employer’s bankruptcy and resulting cuts to pay, benefits, and retirement.
Even though David’s flight path has taken him away from working as a flight attendant, he’s still devoting his talents to support the growth of union labor.
The Aluminum Lady made waves at airline headquarters when she first sashayed onto the scene, but after a temporary hiatus, she’s coming back to the YouTube and Facebook screens.
After countless requests from fans, the Aluminum Lady and her boardroom of CEO sidekicks are making their triumphant return in time for the holidays. The first parody video is a re-release of her famous holiday messages from management.
As viewers await new content from Aluminum Lady, they can explore “Vintage” clips on Aluminum Lady’s Facebook page. And slowly but surely, Aluminum Lady’s team will restore all of the videos to the YouTube account. It’s a holiday miracle!
The satirical videos will have you laughing out loud until your stomach hurts. But they bring to mind the deep-seated greed that thrives in corporate America.
“Relish in the satisfaction that the fruits of your labor will stuff the stockings of our hard-working executives and shareholders who make all of your jobs possible holiday to holiday.” – The Aluminum Lady’s Holiday Message to Airline Workers
“On behalf of us at American Airlines and APFA Headquarters, we want to thank you, the workers of American Airlines, for happily transporting our customers from Point A to Point B during the holiday season. And you do it without holiday pay because you’re just that kind of people, and we’re the kind not to offer it to you.” – Aluminum Lady’s Holiday Greetings
“Please don’t involve unions, which will only disrupt our generosity. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you!” – Aluminum Lady’s Gift Announcement 2018
Of course, we can’t boycott airlines altogether. But we can show our support for the flight attendants’ union, AFA-CWA. President Sara Nelson is leading the charge to fight airline executive greed. Essentially, she’s the Aluminum Lady’s worst nightmare.
Although she’s making her glorious return for the holidays, Aluminum Lady provides year-round commentary about airline executives.
In one of her last videos before her hiatus, Aluminum Lady did a staged reading of an actual letter published by American Airlines regarding the implementation of their facemask policy in March 2020. The best part? The rolling captions at the bottom of the screen.
“Airline executives may have to sell a house or private jet and you’re worried about your health?”
“Please disregard every other airline in the world that allows face masks.”
“Contact with hundreds of possibly infected passengers is perfectly safe and good for business!”
“To avoid disciplinary attendance points, please stay well.”
When it comes to Jetiquette, no one is exempt. Not even the people at the top of the airline ladder. And Aluminum Lady is coming back to call everyone out.
In fact, the Aluminum Lady is setting her sights on the anti-labor practices at non-airline related businesses like Amazon and Starbucks. ‘Tis the season for everyone to push themselves to the brink of exhaustion, right? So stay tuned because Our Lady may be lurking in a fulfillment center or a coffeehouse near you.
The Aluminum Lady and her board of CEOs aren’t alone this holiday season either. The Aluminum Lady’s BFF Delta Dawn is out there exposing the union-busting tactics at Delta Airlines. Grab your notebook and pen and check out her PSAs on Delta Dawn’s Facebook group.
Delta Dawn wonders why people would want to bust up their workplace family with a union. She will do just about anything to prevent Delta Airline’s flight attendants from bringing in union representation.
“Do my Yorkies want to be unionized too? You see how ignorant that sounds?” – Delta Dawn
Would you let your precious pooches unionize? Absolutely not.
We can disagree on a lot of things, but we draw the line at unionization. Take a page out of Ms. Dawn’s book when a family member brings up unions at holiday dinner and tell them, “I’d rather find out you’re homosexual than pro-union.” And don’t forget the utter look of disgust to complement the statement. Worst-case scenario, just start screaming at the top of your lungs.
“Don’t question the culture!! EVER!!!” – Delta Dawn, anytime someone asks about unionization
Delta Dawn also has strong opinions about masks, just like Aluminum Lady. She advises Delta Crew Members: “Until further notice, please only use company issued facemasks which are available at all bases. 1 per crew member. Masks are disposable but please rinse in cold water and line dry at your layover hotels to save precious resources.”
Unions would only force Delta and other airlines to waste their hard-earned money on new masks for each flight, and we can all agree that that’s bad for the earth. And the airlines. If a flight attendant sneezes into their mask during a flight, that’s their problem, not the airline’s.
In a conference call with the Aluminum Lady and other airline executives regarding flight attendant fatigue, Delta Dawn talks about how Delta sent out a summer tool kit to help flight attendants push through busy travel months. A fatigue management tool kit would work just as well for holiday travel fatigue. Who needs a union when they can have a branded tool kit to manage their stress over obscenely long hours?
And who’s to say the flight attendants aren’t just being dramatic as usual?
As Smisek from UAL points out, “This flight attendant fatigue thing? It’s out of hand. These people get enough rest in between the services. They do a beverage service; they rest. They recover, then do another service. It’s sort of like when I run. I run, I take a day off, and then I run again. I’ve recovered. It’s the same thing when you’re doing flights throughout the day. That’s how I see it.”
Ms. Dawn also cites the need to use fear tactics to keep flight attendants in line. If you threaten their jobs enough, they’ll stop complaining. Every time Delta Airlines hires a new flight attendant, Delta Dawn sends them a personalized message to remind them to steer clear of any unions.
And the fact that flight attendants are still trying to unionize, after all that Delta Dawn, the Aluminum Lady, and other airline executives have done for them, is appalling. Isn’t it better when we all get along and happily keep working with minimal benefits?