American Airlines flight attendants are furious after receiving company guidance suggesting they skip their own meals if need be – even if called in at the last minute to work a flight – in order to get to their assignments on time.
Shocked by the memo, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants fired back. The union said guidance from American Airlines was “insulting” after months of flight attendants dealing with grumpy passengers, enforcing mask mandates and putting themselves in harm’s way during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Dallas Morning News.
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“It now seems that skipping food runs on the way to the airplane and monitoring traffic patterns should be our new normal,” said the letter from APFA President Julie Hedrick. “This company continues to demonstrate just how out-of-touch they are with flight attendants, ignoring the fatigue-inducing trip construction and the constant battles over mask compliance.”
The flight attendants’ issue comes within just weeks before Memorial Day and the unofficial start to the summer travel season – a season that airlines expect to be bigger than any in the past due to the success of the COVID-19 vaccinations and a pent-up demand for travel.
Part of the impetus for the memo sent to crew members is that American is lagging behind its peers when it comes to on-time percentage.
In a statement, American Airlines spokesman Matt Miller said the company and the flight attendants’ union “have a shared goal of providing a great experience to our customers as they return to flying. … We’re tremendously grateful for the dedication our flight attendants have shown over the past year and everything they are doing to welcome our customers back to the skies,” Miller said.
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