United Airlines claims that it has made significant efforts to address these problems.
Flight attendants who were “fed up” with the carrier’s persistent operational interruptions, which they claim have “tangibly impacted them” and their passengers participated in the picket, known as the Day of Action, at 14 airports in the United States, Guam, and London.
Many of them held signs that read, “Can you hear us now” and “solutions not excuses.”
The union for the picketing flight attendants, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), asserts that United’s management is not fully accepting responsibility for the tens of thousands of delays and cancellations that resulted from improperly staffing crew schedules.
@afa_cwa Fired up!! Union strong. #AFACWA #FedUpShowUp #ThankYouMesa pic.twitter.com/VCt1J1YSlY
— David Bannister (@MDBannis) September 27, 2022
“Flight attendants are on the frontlines when an operational meltdown occurs, and they are expected to address passenger concerns,” the AFA-CWA said in a statement. “But recently flight attendants have been left empty-handed or stranded themselves without support from management who are running the airline.”
The union continued: “United management keeps expecting flight attendants ‘to make it work.’ Meanwhile, management blames others — air traffic control, flight attendants, pilots — but themselves for operational issues.”
The group cited cancellations from the previous week related to some of United’s Boeing 777-200 aircraft having failed their required inspections.
When United Airlines discovered that some of the aforementioned aircraft had not passed the necessary inspections of the front edges of the wings, it had to cancel around 18 flights in total, though it made efforts to rebook customers.
✊We stand in solidarity with @afa_cwa members picketing outside O'Hare today!
“Flight attendants are fed up and showing up to the picket line,” said @AFAUnitedMEC President Ken Diaz.
The picket is part of an international action across 14 airports all over the world today. pic.twitter.com/dPro90WvGt
— Chicago Federation of Labor (@chicagolabor) September 27, 2022
United Airlines told FOX Business that it has “worked hard to reduce wait times for flight attendants to talk to a crew scheduler, including more hiring and adding digital options for some items.”
In the company’s most recent earnings call, United Airlines President Brett Hart said the carrier “continues to collaborate with the U.S. Department of Transportation on the operational disruptions and challenges impacting the aviation industry and our customers.”
According to Hart, the Federal Aviation Administration and the government will work closely together to “address the main drivers of these difficulties and develop answers jointly.”
He added that the airline has already “seen early signs of progress” and has even been granted a dispensation to alter its schedule in Newark in order to increase the dependability of the remaining flights.
Photo cover credit: Association of Flight Attendants–CWA