CDC Change on Transporting Passengers from Cruise Lines

CDC Change on Transporting Passengers from Cruise Lines

April 6, 2020 — On Friday, passengers from the cruise liner Holland America cruise ship departed Florida to destinations across the country and world.

The AFA Alaska MEC was made aware that over 60 passengers from the ship were due to transfer from a charter in SFO to more than five Alaska Airlines flights. Our AFA leadership raised concerns with management about commingling these passengers with regularly scheduled passengers and our crews.  Thanks to AFA Alaska’s quick notice — AFA International Health and Safety was able to alert other safety chairs. At United, more than 130 passengers from the ship were scheduled to fly from SFO to Australia and a few other destinations within mainland U.S.

The solution that AFA achieved at both carriers was to schedule management-staffed charters for the cruise line passengers only, with specific health protocols. A similar situation happened on Sunday at American and APFA leaders were able to achieve the same results with their management. Working together and sharing information is effective and paramount as we address the issues created by this crisis.

After weeks of allowing cruise ship asymptomatic passengers who were exposed to the coronavirus to travel home on commercial passenger flights with nothing more than a temperature check, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed course and issued new guidance. 

Cruise companies will now have to charter flights to return passengers to their home cities, the agency said. This is an example of the important work our Union does to advocate for the health and safety of crew and the passengers in our care. 

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