American Airlines flight attendants will simply be able to refuse to take part in a new safety audit program that is being mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), it has been revealed. The success of the program could, it is feared, be in jeopardy before it has even started.
The new program is known as the Cabin Line Operation Safety Audit or C-LOSA and it has been devised after American Airlines was notified that its current audit program wasn’t sufficient to comply with the FAA’s safety management protocols.
LOSA isn’t, however, new to American Airlines. It has been successfully used in the cockpit at the Dallas Fort Worth-based airline for more than 10 years and during that time, the voluntary program has proved to be an invaluable method of predicting hazards.
The safety management system that the FAA requires U.S. commercial airlines to have in place needs three elements – a reactive, proactive and predictive method to identify and ‘catch’ hazards. LOSA auditors observe, record and predict potential safety issues.
With LOSA being so successful in the flight deck, the airline decided to roll out LOSA-C with the support of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, which represents crew at the carrier.
But some flight attendants are concerned about the new audit program, and official communication from the airline announcing the introduction of LOSA-C has allegedly raised more questions than answers.
The APFA is attempting to reassure its members about the nature of the program but a recent memo also revealed that any crew can refuse to have a LOSA auditor onboard their flight – without fear of facing any repercussions.
This means that flight attendants could simply refuse to ever let a LOSA-C auditor onboard a flight – although there are no suggestions at the moment this could happen.
Work to convince flight attendants to accept LOSA-C auditors is continuing with a recent memo explaining that auditors are simply crew colleagues and that all information obtained from an audit will be ‘de-identified’ and made confidential.
Flight attendants have also been reassured that auditors won’t interfere in cabin service and won’t be taking a jumpseat that could be used by a ‘commuting’ crew member.
American Airlines did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.