Frontier Flight Attendants Demand Negotiations and Officially Notice Management of Railway Labor Act Dispute Caused by Airline's Drastic Business Model Change

DENVER (April 3, 2024) — Frontier Flight Attendants, represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), today officially notified Frontier management of a dispute under the Railway Labor Act caused by management’s plans for an overhaul of the airline’s business model. The dispute requires Frontier Airlines management to negotiate over the airline’s drastic and economically harmful change for Flight Attendants under the entirely new business model. Management has announced it intends to shift operational scheduling to over 90% one-day turns which would drastically impact the compensation, out of pocket costs, and time at work without additional pay. The current collective bargaining agreement does not properly address the effect of this business model change. 

“This change will drastically upend Frontier Flight Attendants’ lives and it’s only going to get worse,” said Jennifer Sala, AFA Frontier President. “Most Flight Attendants will be forced to work more days and longer days to make the same amount of money. Management must negotiate immediately to ensure its front-facing workers are not shouldering the cost of the entirely new operational structure.”

The Flight Attendant Union issued formal notice to management that its “turn” plan constitutes a major dispute under the Railway Labor Act, separate from normal contract negotiations. This wholesale change in the business model would have a significant negative impact on the working lives of the almost 4,000 Flight Attendants in a way not contemplated under the negotiated collective bargaining agreement.

“This is a gross example of corporate greed,” said Sara Nelson, AFA International President. “Management’s turn plan is shifting corporate costs including hotel and transportation directly onto individual Flight Attendants. If Frontier wants to make these changes, they MUST negotiate to reflect the completely new business model.”

Flight Attendants’ work life and compensation are very unique. Management’s turn plan will directly affect 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 in the air) and time away from home. The productivity for Flight Attendants’ time is lower under this plan as is take home pay. Trip value, while contractually guaranteed around the same minimum per day, is currently greater with multi-day trips and minimizes the transportation costs for Flight Attendants to get to and from work assignments.

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 will have to pay for more hotel nights in base or spend more nights 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. This is a significantly higher cost pushed to Flight Attendants and disrupts personal commitments at home. Local Flight Attendants will spend more money on gas and car repairs/wear and tear with more trips to the airport.

The contract provides for a "variety of trips in each base." The history of this is a mix of one-day and multi-day trips to accommodate different needs of the Flight Attendant population. 

Per diem on one-day trips is taxed. Multi-day trip per diem is not 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 taxable income lowers take home pay for Flight Attendants. 


The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, (AFA) AFL-CIO represents 50,000 Flight Attendants at 19 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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