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Monday, June 5, 2023

Flight attendants on Southwest and American Airlines push to be paid while boarding

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The Dallas Morning News reported that flight attendants at Southwest Airlines (LUV) and American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) are pushing to be paid during boarding.

The news comes only a week after Delta Air Lines revealed that beginning in June 2022, flight attendants will be paid during the boarding process.

“Boarding for us is one of the hardest times during our flights,” Julie Hedrick, President of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), told Dallas Morning News.

“We are getting everyone seated and you’ve seen the last two years what happens when we are on the ground,” Hedrick added.

Around 24,000 American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) employees are represented by the APFA.

Delta’s decision to pay flight attendants while boarding has given new life to efforts by American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) and Southwest Airlines (LUV) unions to include boarding compensation in their renegotiated contracts.

“Pay for boarding has set a new industry standard,” Lyn Montgomery, head of Southwest Airlines (LUV) flight attendants union, told Dallas Morning News.

Meanwhile, the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) praised Delta Airlines’ (DAL) decision to pay flight attendants during boarding in a statement to its United Airlines members.

“Earlier this week, Delta management announced they would begin paying their Flight Attendants boarding pay at half the rate of flight time pay. This is a good thing, and, in our view, all Flight Attendants should receive boarding pay. After all, this has been a priority for Flight Attendants for at least the last twenty years.”

Flight attendants in the United States are traditionally paid after the passenger boarding process is completed and the aircraft doors are closed.

According to the AFA, boarding is typically the most difficult element of flight attendant duties, and it has grown from 35 to 40 minutes due to heightened security measures during and after the pandemic.

“The pay is traditionally based on pilot pay structure and we’ve fought hard to increase the $ for flight hours with pay protections. But boarding is often the hardest part of our day and it’s only gotten harder this year,” the AFA said.


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