Flight Attendant Union Commends UA 1074 Crew and Calls Attention to the Role of Aviation’s First Responders
Washington, DC (March 17, 2015) –The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), representing Flight Attendants at United Airlines and nearly twenty airlines across the industry, commended those on board flight 1074 for action to address the disturbance on the Monday night flight from Washington, D.C. (Dulles International Airport) to Denver, Colorado. AFA International President Sara Nelson noted the professional work of United flight 1074 crew and issued the following statement about the role of Flight Attendants in aviation security:
“Flight Attendants are aviation’s first responders, charged with ensuring safe travel for passengers and crew. Since September 11, 2001 we are also aviation’s last line of defense, and we go to work everyday understanding this critical responsibility for aviation security. Passengers can help by listening to Flight Attendant instructions and responding when we direct passengers to help. We caution any passenger to listen carefully to flight crew instructions.
Thousands of flights take off and land without incident. This can be credited to the professional work of Flight Attendants to de-escalate conflict and potential disruption. However, our job is harder than ever and we deal with conflict every day. Our planes are fuller than they've ever been. Seats are closer together. And there are fewer flight attendants there to de-escalate any problem because our staffing has been cut to minimums.
Since September 12, 2001 we have been calling for Flight Attendant security training to include self-defense. While TSA provides a voluntary training program, our union continues to push Congress for mandatory self-defense training as part of our certified safety, health, and security program.
Our union successfully encouraged Congress to raise fines for disruptive passengers to $25,000. This can be used as a deterrent by the FAA, and passengers need to know how serious it is if they contribute to a disruption on our flights. We are trained that this could be part of an even larger plot to distract us from our duties and take over the airplane. We cannot tolerate a small disruption at thousands of feet in the air where there is no ability to call for help from authorities.
We take our jobs seriously for good reason. Listen to your Flight Attendants.”
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The Association of Flight Attendants is the world’s largest Flight Attendant union. Focused 100 percent on Flight Attendant issues, AFA has been the leader in advancing the Flight Attendant profession for 67 years. Serving as the voice for Flight Attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill, AFA has transformed the Flight Attendant profession by raising wages, benefits and working conditions. Nearly 60,000 Flight Attendants come together to form AFA, part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afacwa.org.