AFA Statement on United Airlines’ “Flight for the Planet” Program

Washington, D.C. (June 5, 2019) — Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) President Sara Nelson release the following statement on United Airlines' "Flight for the Planet" program:

"In announcing 'Flight for the Planet' program, United Airlines shows the initiative that has long made it an industry leader in sustainability.

"A climate catastrophe threatens Flight Attendants’ jobs and our safety at work. From the projected rise in severe turbulence to increases in weather-related disruptions, Flight Attendants see and feel the growing consequences of inaction in our daily lives. Our union has endorsed the principles of the Green New Deal because we know only a major mobilization across sectors can protect our jobs and save the planet for our children. We also know that any climate legislation must be rooted firmly in promoting good, union jobs and protections of income, retirement, and healthcare for workers in affected industries.

"The Green New Deal calls for us to take as many steps as are technologically feasible to cut emissions and end our reliance on fossil fuels. This is exactly what United’s new “Flight for the Planet” program sets out to achieve. The sustainable biofuel used in this flight cut emissions by 60%, and United pushes the needle further still by purchasing carbon offsets to balance the remaining emissions. We challenge other airlines to compete with these measures.

"United has also taken steps to create a zero-waste cabin and replace plastics with recyclable and biodegradable service materials in our workspace. The commitment to zero-waste and net-zero emissions make this program truly revolutionary, and show how private industry can be a powerful force for innovation in the fight to save our planet.

"Averting climate catastrophe will take a society-wide mobilization. Government, industry and private citizens must all do our part.

"AFA applauds United’s industry-leading steps, and will continue to work with United and all of our airline partners to find innovative ways we can help avoid a climate catastrophe."


The Association of Flight Attendants is the Flight Attendant union. Focused 100 percent on Flight Attendant issues, AFA has been the leader in advancing the Flight Attendant profession for 73 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 50,000 Flight Attendants come together to form AFA, part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at

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