An American Airlines worker reveals why he’s giving up his dream job — and his paycheck — to take a buyout (AAL)

As airline employees brace for coming layoffs, their companies have announced buyout offers, part of an effort to reduce the ranks through voluntary departures rather than layoffs.While it might seem reasonable for workers to take their chances, some are choosing to take the buyouts, opting for a degree of certainty and the continuation of at…

An American Airlines worker reveals why he’s giving up his dream job — and his paycheck — to take a buyout (AAL)

As airline employees brace for coming layoffs, their companies have announced buyout offers, part of an effort to reduce the ranks through voluntary departures rather than layoffs.While it might seem reasonable for workers to take their chances, some are choosing to take the buyouts, opting for a degree of certainty and the continuation of at least some benefits.We spoke with an American Airlines employee who has decided to take a buyout, who explained why he’s giving up his dream job and his paycheck.Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

With layoffs looming across the US airline industry, carriers are trying to avoid forced job cuts by offering employees incentives to leave voluntarily.In recent days and weeks, major airlines including American, Delta, and United have announced voluntary buyout offers for some employees. American and United’s offers were for managers, along with support and administrative workers. Offers for frontline employees are coming.The offers all involve an element of continued pay for at least a few months, medical coverage, and ongoing employee travel benefits.Whether to accept the buyouts or not can be a difficult choice for workers for whom it’s not easy to determine whether they’ll be targeted by layoffs. American and United have both said they expect to lay off around 30% of administrative and management workers, while Delta has not publicly stated a number.

For many airline workers, their job is just that: a job. You go in, do your day’s duties, and head back home. Or in the case of flight crews, go in, work your trips, and then forget about what was likely just another day in the office.For a subset of employees, though, working for an airline in any capacity is a dream come true.Aviation enthusiasts, or “AvGeeks,” permeate virtually every work group in the airline industry. For them, every day is a thrill, a chance to be a part of an unfathomably large and complex global machine that makes criss-crossing the world as easy as a few taps on a smartphone.Plus, the access they have at work affords opportunities to go plane-spotting every day, seeing the newest jets, liveries, and airlines, and in some cases, rare, once-in-a-lifetime sightings.

Not to mention the employee travel benefits, which provide the opportunity to fly on different types of planes and airlines, to destinations all over the world, for little or no cost.John is one of those employees (his name has been changed for this article, at his request).In his three years at American — and three years at a smaller airline before that —
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