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American Airlines Flight Attendants Told to Stop Leaving Behind Crew Mates at Hotels When They’re Late For Pickup

American Airlines Flight Attendants Told to Stop Leaving Behind Crew Mates at Hotels When They’re Late For Pickup

Flight attendants at American Airlines have been told to stop abandoning their crewmates who don’t come down from their layover hotel rooms in time for the designated pickup time.

When flight attendants are staying in a layover hotel, it is their responsibility to ensure they check out at the correct time so they can jump on the crew van that will take them to the airport for their next flight.

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The length of time between the flight’s departure time and checkout time can vary enormously based on many different factors including the location of the layover hotel, the anticipated traffic to the airport and local immigration and security procedures.

Because there are so many variables at play, sometimes flight attendants get it wrong and fail to checkout at the correct time. And apparently, American Airlines flight attendants are getting into the habit of leaving behind late crew members.

“Over the past few months, we have seen a rise in crew members being left behind at the hotel when they don’t show up for pickup,” noted the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) who represents AA crew members in a recent memo

“We are all in this together, and no one should ever be left behind at the layover hotel,” the union warned, noting that illness or something even worse could be the reason that a flight attendant hasn’t come down from their room in time.

Flight attendants are now being urged to try and make contact with the missing crew member before simply leaving them behind.

In the first instance, flight attendants should ask the front desk to phone the missing flight attendant’s room to establish the reason why they haven’t checked out. If there’s no answer, then contact should be made with AA’s security team and hotel guards should be called out to carry out a welfare check.

“Taking additional steps when a crewmember isn’t present ensures they make it home safely. If they need assistance, the appropriate departments will be alerted promptly to provide the necessary support,” the union explains.

Some airlines ask hotels to make wake-up calls to flight attendants an hour before the scheduled departure, although that isn’t an official policy at American Airlines. At many carriers, flight attendants are even expected to be in the lobby at least five minutes before departure because being ‘on time’ is considered late.

As for flight attendants who have simply slept in, the crew van will normally leave without them and the missing crew member will be expected to get a taxi to the airport at their own expense.

In most cases, the flight might not depart until they’ve made to the aircraft but that isn’t guaranteed and flight attendants can be left behind.

View Comments (9)
  • Suggestion: once they find out which flight attendant is in which pilot’s bedroom make a list to keep track ;-p

  • An efficient, well organized airline with responsible union backing would have a ranking or senior member supervising the flight cabin crew, and wouldn’t have to be told to pass muster before leaving the hotel, how basic it that? CX cabin crew march out of the hotel onto the shuttle bus with military precision, nobody left behind, ever.

      • who’s forcing them to be flight attendants. I don’t get paid for the time going to work either. so not sure what point you are trying to make.

      • If you’re employed by any other company that has defined work hours and you show up late, what’s the consequence? If you’re the supervisor of a team in such a company and you start the day/shift without one/few members if your team, what is the consequence.

        How about FAs just 1/ show up on time like a responsible employee (extenuating circumstances not withstanding) and 2/ lookout for your colleagues like decent human beings?

    • I was in the military for twenty years as a navigator. At the start of my career I missed the crew bus from the local hotel (carrying State Department employees to a non-military base) one time. I learned really quickly from that experience what happens if you do that. I never did it again.

      As for another assignment for crew for which you are not paid that’s BS. In order to get paid for flying you have to get to your job on time and if you don’t your supervisor should be all over it.

  • I was recently on a shuttle bus from a Marriott with some AA crew on board. One FA was missing. The missing FA’s phone broke the day prior so they could not call her. They asked the front desk to call her room and were told that it states in their contract that they are not allowed to call a crew member’s room so they called again and asked to be connected to her room and got no answer

  • Many years ago during a period of recurring furloughs for me, 1970s I was a piloting DC 8 63’s for a well known non sked. We had a three day layover in Europe and I had not seen the captain except for the first evening. At pick up he was a no show, no answer from his room so they sent a front desk person to his room. He was in bed unable to move having had a stroke and he had left a do not disturb sign on his door thus no maid service. He was taken to the hospital. I returned many months later to my main line airline and I found out later that he had made a full recovery and even returned to work retiring at age 60, AND THAT IS WHY YOU DO NOT LEAVE ANYONE BEHIND.

  • In 15 years I have been late for pick up twice due to over sleeping. I never once expected anybody to wait for me and don’t blame them for not waiting. We are adults and should be responsible for ourselves. Some airlines will punish the whole crew for showing up late to the gate. Secondly the union should have bigger fish to fry than this… How about pay and clear work rules? That would be nice. No one is babysitting or holding the hands of other adults. Call the crew member from your cell phone on the way to the airport. Unbelievable that of all things AA’s union is worried about this.

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