American Airlines’ flight attendants claim that this year’s International Flight Attendant Appreciation Day, a global holiday celebrated on May 31, will be distinguished by a lack of appreciation on their part.
In fact, according to the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), which speaks on behalf of the airline based in Dallas-Fort Worth, its members feel “grossly underappreciated, unsupported, and ignored.”
American Airlines boldly proclaimed its adoration for its 26,000 flight attendants on its social media accounts on Wednesday, calling them “the best in the business,” but the union asserts that flight attendants are typically treated like little more than a number.
Flight attendants are now engaged in protracted contract discussions with the airline, and the union has been fighting against the business’s severe absence and sickness policy for years.
The union blasts that through this policy, their “management’s lack of empathy and respect for their hard-working employees could not be more evident.”
The union slams the administration, saying that with this policy, “management’s lack of empathy and respect for their hard-working employees could not be more evident.”
Pete Enriquez, a flight attendant based in Miami, claims American Airlines didn’t help him when he got a black eye after being’sucker punched’ in the eye by an irate passenger on a flight to London.
After the flight was rerouted back to Miami and the passenger was detained, Enriquez recalls, “All they wanted was to make sure that liability-wise, they were clear,”
“They took me to the hospital, they made sure I was okay, and then after I could go home, I didn’t hear from the company after that. I didn’t get a call or an email. The company wasn’t even present at sentencing”.
“They showed me how little they care about us. I was assaulted on the job, and the company didn’t care,” Enriquez continued.
According to DOT statistics, unruly passenger occurrences in the post-pandemic world may have officially peaked in early 2021, but they are still significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels, and flight attendants at airlines around the world are dealing with a new era of disruptive passengers.
What Enriquez experienced is by far an isolated or unusual incident, but it’s good practice for airlines, like any employer, to provide staff with follow-up support in the hours, days, and weeks following a traumatic incident such as a serious assault.
Airlines typically don’t assist employees during a criminal investigation or trial. After all, airlines have internal security divisions whose responsibility it is to ensure that employees present evidence in cases involving disorderly passengers. Therefore, it makes sense to stand by a crucial witness throughout the trial and to have an airline representative present at the sentence.
Although both parties are still engaged in contentious contract discussions that are currently going to mediation in an effort to break a deadlock in some crucial areas, including salary, American Airlines has not publicly reacted to the most recent charges made by the flight attendant union.
Although no date had been established, the union had earlier this month issued a warning to its members that they could move to a strike authorization vote if the most recent round of contract negotiations did not result in progress.