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American Airlines Flight Attendants Plan More Airport Protests as Dispute With Management Escalates

American Airlines Flight Attendants Plan More Airport Protests as Dispute With Management Escalates

an airplane on the runway

Flight attendants at American Airlines plan a second wave of airport protests as a dispute with management escalates over prolonged contract negotiations, high flight attendant reserve numbers and the airline’s ‘refusal’ to restore flight attendant staffing levels to pre-pandemic levels.

Thousands of flight attendants are expected to descend upon 11 airports across the United States on January 24, 2023, to bring their noisy protest to the attention of AA’s passengers.

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), which represents around 28,000 crew members at the Dallas Fort Worth-based airline told its members that “management does not care” about a slew of concerns that are increasingly irking flight attendants.

Flight attendants at the airline staged their first airport picket in years on November 15, but APFA says it has only just begun as it “stands up to management”. Pickets will take place at Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York JFK, Philadephia, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Washington DC.

“American has restored onboard food and beverage service to pre-pandemic levels but refuses to adequately staff our cabins and address the staffing problem at the negotiating table,” the union told its members in an internal memo.

“FlightAttendants are exhausted, and our passengers expect and deserve more,” the memo continued.”

Last week, the union said its members were “sick and tired of being ignored” by management and claimed senior leaders were “intent on punishing” crew for what they described as the company’s “inability to properly staff and run the airline”.

Flight attendants are particularly frustrated at AA’s reliance on using reserve duties to staff flights, whereby crew members don’t have guaranteed trips and don’t know what they’ll be working from one day to another.

APFA claims that while contract discussions are progressing in some areas, the airline has largely rejected a whole raft of proposals which included “reasonable improvements” for its members.

Key sticking points include a demand from the union that flight attendants be paid for boarding – a major bone of contention that is back in the spotlight after Delta Air Lines surprised the industry by announcing boarding pay for its flight attendants.

View Comment (1)
  • Making the airport experience even more miserable is not the way to get sympathy from the passengers. But it’s not really about the passengers, is it?

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