After Delta Air Lines made history by becoming the first major U.S. airline to pay its crew members for boarding, Alaska Airlines flight attendants are now considering boarding compensation.
Following Delta’s action, Alaska Airlines is anticipated to begin contract discussions with the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA), with boarding compensation expected to be at the top of the agenda.
“Alaska Airlines Flight Attendants definitely deserve boarding pay, and boarding pay will be in our opening proposal to management,” the union told Alaska flight attendants on Tuesday after details of Delta’s offer were leaked.
Delta will pay flight attendants 50% of their standard hourly rate for boarding beginning in early June. As a result of the ruling, flight attendants are projected to earn at least $4,000 more each year.
The unexpected offer comes as Delta tries to stave off a renewed campaign by the Air Line Pilots Association (AFA) to unionize its flight attendants. The airline also aims to assuage concerns over its intention to extend boarding time on domestic single-aisle flights to 40 minutes prior to departure.
“Regardless of the underlying circumstances, the implementation of boarding pay for cabin crew at a major airline has major implications for collective bargaining in the US aviation industry going forward–including our upcoming negotiations,” the local Alaska Airlines branch of AFA told flight attendants.
Flight attendants at American Airlines have also requested boarding pay, adding it to a long list of demands in their contract negotiations with management. The suggestion was only added after flight attendants expressed their dissatisfaction with the usual compensation system.
The Association of Flight Attendants is hoping to enshrine boarding compensation in a collective bargaining agreement that can’t be changed by management. Delta management has threatened to eliminate boarding money at any time, according to the union.