Flight Attendant Union Urges Immediate Exemption for Flight Crew from Trump’s Entry Ban

Washington, D.C. (January 31, 2017) — The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO (AFA), representing 50,000 flight attendants at 19 airlines, sent a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kelly, asking for an exemption for flight crew from President Trump’s Entry Ban Executive Order. Airline crewmembers are subject to the ban. AFA International President Sara Nelson on Monday wrote in the letter:

“Some AFA members hold passports from the affected countries and despite having legal status to enter the United States working for one of our airlines, the executive order apparently includes these crewmembers who have served as the critical last line of defense in U.S. aviation security for years. As a result, this EO directly impacts their very livelihood as a Flight Attendant and jeopardizes their ability to enter the United States while on duty.

“​Despite the enhanced government security clearance Flight Attendants are required to obtain before working for a U.S. airline, this arbitrary and sudden executive order will cause the loss of good, well-paying American jobs.

“The implementation of this action is different than anything we have seen before. Consideration of the impacts of a proposed action, such as security screening issues, and the effects it would have on airline and airport employers and employees are evaluated in advance by the agencies whose regulated parties and their employees would be affected by the proposed action.

“The opportunity for stakeholders, including employers and their labor representatives, to weigh in on federal action in advance is extremely important, since they are able to pose questions and raise concerns about intended and unintended impacts of the action on their operations and affected workers.”

In the letter, AFA also requests a meeting with the Secretary to address operational issues and collaborate on the common mission of protecting Americans from security threats.

Read the full letter.


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 71 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 www.afacwa.org.

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