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JetBlue Flight Attendants Feel Unsafe Commuting to Newark and Being “Crammed” into a Rest Area Where They Have to Sit on the Floor

JetBlue Flight Attendants Feel Unsafe Commuting to Newark and Being “Crammed” into a Rest Area Where They Have to Sit on the Floor

JetBlue flight attendants have to commute across New York in the middle of the night only to then be “crammed” into a crew break room with so few seats that they are forced to sit on the floor, the Transport Workers Union (TWU) has alleged.

The union claims flight attendants have to endure “unsafe conditions” because JetBlue has gone back on a tentative agreement it reached with the TWU last year.

The TWU claims flight attendants are forced to sit on the floor in the break room at EWR airport because there aren’t enough seats. Photo Credit: TWU / Twitter

The allegations stem from JetBlue’s decision to expand its presence at Newark airport (EWR) as part of its pandemic recovery strategy. In order to get a foothold in Newark, the airline is requiring some flight attendants to commute between their usual base at JFK and EWR – a task that is easier said than done.

“Commuting on public transportation during late nights/early mornings to get to EWR from JFK is risky, costly and, quite frankly, unacceptable,” the TWU says of the demand. The union says the commute is taking flight attendants nearly three hours and costing between $60 and $100 per trip.

Some flight attendants say they are suffering anxiety trying to commute from JFK and EWR and once they get to Newark they are “crammed, a dozen at a time, into a make-shift crew room in EWR with two chairs and a sign on the door stating ‘maximum 3 people at one time due to Covid’.”

And the seats that are present in the crew room are broken according to the TWU. Photo Credit: TWU / Twitter

“Tight quarters, tight report times, and unsafe train rides into EWR are unacceptable. JetBlue can and must do better,” the union argues.

A historic tentative agreement reached between the TWU and jetBlue last October prohibited flight attendants from being ‘co-based’ between JFK and EWR but jetBlue has apparently rewritten that part of the agreement claiming it is part of the airline’s pandemic recovery strategy and is necessary to compete with rivals.

The union agreement is not legally binding until fully ratified.

JetBlue has not responded to a request for comment but the airline has told the union that it is currently building a new break room for crew members at Newark. JetBlue also says it has received only a “handful of complaints” about the commute between JFK and EWR.

Photo Credit: Roman Tiraspolsky /

View Comments (20)
  • Hmmm….if only public transportation in NYC were safe. Maybe they should have police??? Nah, defund police and replace them with social workers right.? Now we find ourselves where people who actually work for a living and pay taxes to finance this charade don’t feel safe riding the train.

    • Increasing service is much cheaper than hiring more transit.
      But I’m sure you’ve never tried to get from NYC to EWR much less in the wee hours of the morning.

  • Actually, I agree with the FA unions on this one, Public transit from JFK (and its direct) to EWR would be scary as hell after dark. And filthy. As would be the floors at EWR. Basically, these FAs ended up with the lousiest assignment this side of Karachi.

  • Let’s understand this…they feel unsafe commuting from JFK to EWR compared to taking 1am subway rides from Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn to JFK?
    Let’s also have a mathematical enlightenment- if a room allows 3 persons at a time, why would 8 persons try to fit in that room?
    It seems that flight attendants are spoiled and pissy about JetBlue at Newark airport growth, isn’t the growth of the airline beneficial to the flight attendants? It seems that the flight attendants and the airline are two different companies.

    • You have NO idea what you’re talking about. Until you’re a reserve FA for JetBlue based out of JFK. Kindly keep your input to yourself.

  • TWU has collected more than a handful of complaints. JetBlue is simply not being honest. It’s a mess and a disgrace what is going on. And they don’t care. Baklor, Boyd and Cashier should be fired.

  • This is so dumb. They were crammed into a break room bc of massive delays that day. It is not a regular occurence and there were seats in the terminal and other wings to sit in. Also….JFK is transporting call out rsvs to Newark from JFK. The only ppl that have to show up at Newark are ppl that have been assigned at least 12 hrs before. The Union is bs-ing bc they can’t figure out negotiations fast enough to start stealing employees money. Keep complaining and put on your dipeys. Jetblue is killing it right now and is such an awesome company. If you don’t love it leave and someone will take your place.

    • Can you bring up a good point. You and everyone else in that line of work are expendable which means the company that you work for cares much less about you than you think. It’s a sad state of affairs and a huge reason Corporations have no business getting involved in the American people’s government. There should be no lobbyists and absolutely no consideration for the corporations yes pay off politicians to vote for bills that benefit them… Because At the end of the day… And the beginning of the day, corporations don’t care about individual Americans.

    • You must not know how any of this works. They were not crammed into a break room because of delays. They were crammed into a break room because of a 6 hour airport standby shift they were scheduled and that break room is the only place to go. Reserve FAs are given a 2 hour minimum time frame from when they’re called to when they need to be at the airport. Within these 2 hours FAs have to get ready, pack, and get to the airport. This 2 hours still applies to the EWR co-base and JB will not extend it. Idk who told you FAs always have the luxury of 12 hours to prepare for a trip, but they were wildly misinformed.

    • Not true! Reserves ARE being sent to Newark on their own dime – JB isn’t paying to get them their safely. They don’t make enough as is and have to be sent out and find their way across state lines or risk getting in trouble if late or refusing to go! It is unsafe traveling across state lines and on public transport very late at night or super early in the morning as most FA’s who are based in JFK alive or have a crash pad in NYC/Queens. And we won’t even go into the cost of tolls if one has to drive or traffic. Your comment is rude, false and dismissive! They are killing it and are doing amazing, however- it’s also important to support the workers that make that possible.

  • Public transportation between JFK and EWR is unreasonable. If JetBlue wants flight attendants to be co-based and fly out of another airport, they should pay for a taxi or an Uber. Unions are usually unreasonable but not in this case. I don’t see the appropriateness of JFK-EWR. It’s close in miles but not when factoring in traffic and time even taking a taxi.

    • As someone who commutes daily from JFK to EWR I call BS from the union. It costs less than $20 to use public transportation and my commute is less than 90 minutes. If those complaining don’t like the job I will be happy to take it.

      • They have 2 hours to get there, you say your commute is 90 mins, so will it always be 90 mins? No. Thus they might be late by taking public transport in the middle of the night where a lot of trains aren’t operating as often, and face disciplinary action.

    • I agreed. I am local. I am not a fligbt attendant but I do travel and commute in the past for 8 years. A female alone in trains with transfers, not a whish even for me. And I don’t see my self traveling between airports after or before work. May be once in a blue moon in case of emergency. Much less as part of the job. Is pretty energy draining. It has to be a better strategy. And no way to seat to recharge properly in our high developed society is unacceptable. Too careless for the minimum consideretion. They work so hard and carry many responsabilities in the lookout for every passenger well being and airline procedures They need a mind set clear, ready to perform at their best. As an expectator this is my point of view.

  • This article fails to mention that this EWR co-base is not only affecting some JFK based FAs, but ALL of them. And it’s more than just going to EWR to report for flights. Crewmembers are being assigned 6 hour airport standby shifts without an area to sit, eat lunch, or sleep during late night assignments. On top of that, getting from the city to EWR is expensive and JB’s transportation allowance is not enough to cover it. Taking the train in could easily cost you upwards of $50 round trip…more than what would be made at work that day. The outrage over this is completely warranted, and this article severely downplays all the factors at play as to why ALL JFK based FAs are mad (not just a handful). Yes, safety is a factor…but it goes beyond that.

  • Take into account that Flight attendants do not get paid for every hour they actually give to the airline. Extended boarding times (dont get paid), rolling delays (dont get paid) and now asking their lowest paid employees to spend most of what they make (6 hours of standby pays 4.12 hours), commute almost 3 hours to travel interstate to make a shift. This does not account for the cost of meals. It is unreasonable and inhumane. The “there is plenty of space to sit and eat in the terminal” is BS. We cant sit in a restaurant that serves alcohol in uniform, we cannout eat our food in public and so many other rules that prevent us from being in the public eye.

    Senior flight attendants are donating funds to help other beable to eat a decent meal…. lets not even talk about how many people who loved this job and this company quit because they cant make ends meet.

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