Frontier Flight Attendants File For Federal Mediation As Airline Management Refuses to Bargain Around Drastic Business Model Change with Immediate Harm to Flight Attendants

DENVER (May 29, 2024) — Today, Frontier Flight Attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), have filed for federal mediation with the National Mediation Board for impact bargaining over Frontier Airlines’ business model change that is causing a dramatic reduction in compensation while sharply increasing time on the job or commuting to it.

“Frontier Management is uprooting the lives of Frontier Flight Attendants. It is unsustainable and fundamentally wrong to ignore the impact on Flight Attendants. We won’t stand for it,” said Jennifer Sala, AFA Frontier President. “We are pushing ahead with our rights under the Railway Labor Act and we will not stop until management ensures workers are not bearing the brunt of this change.”

The latest filing for federal mediation comes just weeks after Frontier Flight Attendants notified Frontier management of a dispute under the Railway Labor Act caused by management’s overhaul of the airline’s business model. This is a situation of immediate harm. Management’s shift of operational scheduling to over 90% one-day turns drastically impacts Flight Attendants’ compensation, out of pocket costs, and time at work without additional pay.

One common example illustrates how quickly and significantly Flight Attendant pay and work life has been affected. When comparing the same number of days at work in February with March, a Flight Attendant experienced 11% fewer paid flight hours, coupled with a requirement of 5 more trips to the airport. In April that became a 17% reduction in flight hours paid (base compensation) and 8 more trips to the airport. This example means over the course of two months, Flight Attendants lost nearly 20% in pay for the same number of days worked, while also being required to report to work 40% more.

“Frontier’s new business model is shifting company costs to frontline workers, said Sara Nelson, AFA International President. “The change in work lives and pay is staggering. The harm to Flight Attendants is immediate and requires urgent bargaining to address the impact of the new business model. We are confident this issue can be resolved in short order with the assistance of the National Mediation Board, and the process provided by the Railway Labor Act for dispute resolution.”

The Flight Attendant Union issued formal notice to management on April 3, 2024, that its “turn” plan constitutes a dispute under the Railway Labor Act, separate from regular contract negotiations. This impact of the new business model is a significant negative effect on the working lives of the over 4,000 Flight Attendants in a way not contemplated under the negotiated collective bargaining agreement.

Flight Attendants’ work life and compensation are very unique. Management’s turn plan is directly and adversely affecting Flight Attendants in these ways:

One-day or turn trips are worth less pay than multi-day trips. Flight Attendant compensation is structured around flight hours (time away from the gate and in the air) and time away from home.

The majority of current Frontier Flight Attendants are commuters — traveling to work by air or driving more than 90 miles to the airport. One day trips mean Flight Attendants have to pay for more hotel nights in base or spend more nights away from home in a “crash pad” with multiple other crewmembers. In most cases, it means more nights away from families as the turns reduce commuting opportunities at the start or conclusion of work assignments. Local Flight Attendants are spending more money on gas, car maintenance, and cabs/rideshare if they don’t have a car.

Per diem on one-day trips is hundreds of dollars less and also becomes taxed. Multi-day trip per diem is not taxed because the worker is identified as away from home. Flight Attendants are paid per diem for every hour on duty to cover food expenses. Shifting the majority of per diem to daily and taxable income, significantly lowers take home pay for Flight Attendants.


The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, (AFA) AFL-CIO represents over 50,000 Flight Attendants at 20 airlines. AFA is the union that has advanced the Flight Attendant profession for 78 years, beating back discrimination and improving wages, benefits, working conditions, and aviation safety, health and security in the aircraft cabin. AFA also partners with the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at

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