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Some American Airlines Flight Attendants Wary of 737 Max’s Return



The president of the American Airlines flight attendants’ union says some of her workers are “begging” not to fly on the beleaguered Boeing 737 Max whenever the aircraft returns to the air.

Association of Professional Flight Attendants president Lori Bassani said there is concern among a faction of flight attendants about working on a plane that has been grounded for nearly a year.

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“I will tell you that I hear from flight attendants every day, and they’re begging me not to make them go back up in that plane,” Bassani told the Dallas Morning News.

The Boeing Co., which manufactures the plane, has faced intense scrutiny since March of this year after the second of two 737 Max jets crashed. There were 346 deaths aboard the two separate flights.

The plane was immediately grounded, and it has been a series of starts, stops and setbacks ever since as Boeing seeks re-certification for the 737 Max from the Federal Aviation Administration.

But some are wary, particularly after Boeing’s testimony before Congress that raised questions about whether the company was aware of the software problem before the two tragedies. Boeing is hoping to get permission to start flying again in December, but the three major U.S. airlines that use the 737 Max have canceled all flights until March.

Bassani said Boeing invited her to its headquarters in Seattle next month to see the progress of the 737 Max herself.

“By the time March comes around, that (apprehension by flight attendants) should change if things are being done right,” she said.

In the meantime, another union – the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association – ripped Boeing, alleging the company has threatened to cut production so it could pressure regulators and customers.

“Boeing will never, and should not ever, be given the benefit of the doubt again,” pilots association chief Jon Weaks said in a letter. “The combination of arrogance, ignorance, and greed should and will haunt Boeing for eternity.”

The Southwest pilots union sued Boeing in October, claiming more than $100 million in losses from the Max grounding.

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