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American Airlines Flight Attendants Asked To 'Skip Meals' To Avoid Flight Delays
A memo sent to American Airlines flight attendants has been met with outrage and backlash, according to View From the Wing. The memo, titled ‘Moments That Matter’ was intended to address causes of delays that could possibly lead to flights departing late. However, one part in particular drew anger from employees and prompted a response for the American Airlines flight attendants union.
In a tip addressing cabin crew scheduled to work reserve, the memo stated, “You may not have time to stop and get food, etc. on the way to the plane— particularly if you’re called at the last minute, so keep that in mind.”
“Go directly to the aircraft if you are called; do not stop for food or other items on your way unless you have ample time, and it will not delay you accomplishing your pre-flight duties and boarding.”
Julie Hedrick, president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants Association, sent out her own memo in which she addressed flight attendants regarding the “callous” and “insulting” American Airlines memo.
“It now seems that skipping food runs on the way to the airplane and monitoring traffic patterns should be our new normal. 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.”
She continued, “American sees this as a golden opportunity to make our lives more difficult by increasing reserve seniority and throwing 27% of a crew base on reserve instead of working to make our lives easier in this challenging environment.”
In her memo, Hendrick says it is time for flight attendants to be recognized for their hard work and sacrifices instead of being asked to skip meals while on duty.
The airline industry saw over 1.7 million passengers on Mother’s Day, a new COVID-19 pandemic-era record. American is among the major airlines gearing up for a busy summer season. The memo was an attempt to prepare American Airlines flight attendants for the anticipated continual uptick in business, however, now they must prepare for some upcoming heated discussions with disgruntled union leaders as contract negotiations begin again.