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When things go sideways

12 Aug, 2021

It seems like there’s a new example every day of why it matters to have a contract and a union to back you up. Almost every weekend this summer Delta management has initiated IPY+4 to incentivize Flight Attendants to pick up trips and cover the operation. While that’s good, it could be better—and other AFA airlines have contractual provisions for these situations.

Spirit Airlines Operational Meltdown

It’s been a turbulent week and half for Spirit Airlines, as operational issues have plagued the carrier.

From the first reports, AFA representatives and leadership were on the phone with Spirit management. Through this process, AFA was able to negotiate:

  • Premium pay of 200% to pick up shifts — effectively a version of the “green slips” Delta pilots currently enjoy thanks to their union contract
  • Plain-clothes dead-heading as an extra security measure to protect FAs

AFA was also able to put forward operational recommendations. Spirit has now recovered the operation. What’s next? Spirit AFA will file grievances over several contractual provisions that were violated during the IROP to secure financial and other payouts. If Flight Attendants didn’t have a voice at the table and a contract to protect them, there would be no repercussions for the way Flight Attendants were treated.

What happens when airlines are short on staff for the weekend?

Like all carriers, United Airlines has seen demand skyrocket. In order to meet staffing demand, the airline can designate white flag days (covering all flights from specified bases) or purple flag days (covering specific pairings/routes). Thanks to the United AFA contract, Flight Attendants picking up a White or Purple flag trip receive 150% pay. White and Purple flag designations help avoid over-taxing Reserve (or A Days) resources and give Flight Attendants an opportunity to pick up shifts at premium pay with the clarity of a union contract backing them up.

This is just one of many benefits United Flight Attendants have chosen to negotiate for over more than 20 contract cycles. When we secure our union at Delta, we’ll get to choose what issues matter most and negotiate them in our contracts—from premium pay to uniforms to commuter policies.

AFA Protects Frontier Flight Attendants

By now, we’ve all seen the story of the out-of-control passenger on Frontier who assaulted Flight Attendants and disrupted operations, forcing the crew to duct tape him to his seat.

Initially, Frontier suspended two crewmembers, but things changed quickly when AFA stepped in. Before the end of the day, Frontier had completely changed its tune. While the two Flight Attendants will be on leave until the investigation completes, their leave will be fully paid, and they are receiving support from Frontier and from AFA’s Critical Incident Response Program.

Love it, Lock it in!

We love our jobs at Delta—and that’s why we’re committed to locking in everything we love—and winning more—through a union contract.

Once Delta Flight Attendants elect representation through AFA, we’ll have the backing of the best trade union in America to support us in negotiation on the issues WE care about at Delta.

Join us now by signing or renewing your union authorization card.

P.S. - Our Delta AFA campaign is now officially on Instagram! Make sure to find us @AFADelta.