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AFA-CWA Statement on Political Aggression on Flights

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A violent pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol and forced lawmakers to evacuate to undisclosed locations while attempting to certify the electors confirmed by the states in the U.S. presidential election. The National Guard and state and federal police were called in for control, and the mayor of D.C. imposed a curfew of 6 pm.

Lawmakers and leaders from both parties called for an end to the violence. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who had been challenging to outcome if the election, gave an emphatic statement on FoxNews once the violence pushed its way into his workplace: “First of all, this is so un-American. I condemn any of this violence. I could not be more disappointed in the way our country looks at this very moment. People are getting hurt. Anyone involved in this, if you’re hearing me, loud and clear, this is not the American way.”

Our union is working tonight with airlines to confirm the safety of crews and provide AFA members and our families with support. If anyone is in need of AFA EAP assistance, please call 800-424-2406. 

We have confirmed crew layovers have moved from downtown layovers. Check with your airline or AFA Local for updated safety and security information.

We are taking a hard line for flight safety and we are encouraging airlines, government agencies, and law enforcement to help keep problems off our flights. It is important we maintain order and calm in our cabins – for safety and security immediately and for confidence in air safety among the traveling public.

We encourage crews to remain vigilant and command safe flights, always looking out for each other.

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) International President Sara Nelson, representing nearly 50,000 Flight Attendants at 17 airlines, released the following statement:

“Air travel is safe because everyone follows a strict set of rules, based on the spirit that ‘we’re all in this together.’ The mob mentality behavior that took place on several flights to the D.C. area yesterday was unacceptable and threatened the safety and security of every single person onboard. It will not happen again. There’s a reason that there are strict penalties and fines for failing to comply with crewmember instructions. Enforcement keeps everyone safe.

“Our first priority in aviation safety and security is to keep any problems on the ground. Some of the people who traveled in our planes yesterday participated in the insurrection at the Capitol today. Their violent and seditious actions at the Capitol today create further concern about their departure from the DC area. Acts against our democracy, our government, and the freedom we claim as Americans must disqualify these individuals from the freedom of flight.

“We in aviation have a serious role to play in national security. Airlines, in coordination with TSA, DHS, FAA, DOT and law enforcement must take all steps to ensure the safety and security of passengers and crew by keeping all problems on the ground.”

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