American Airlines sent a memo to flight attendants on Monday called ‘Moments That Matter’ which encourages them to be prepared to avoid even slight delays that could stand in the way of exact on-time departures. Unfortunately for employee morale it came off as patronizing.
One tip, aimed at flight attendants who are scheduled to work reserve, has incited a anger – and a response from the union. American told flight attendants that they may need to skip meals.
You may not have time to stop and get food, etc. on the way to the plane – particularly if you’re called at the last minute, so keep that in mind
Go directly to the aircraft if you are called; do not stop for food or other items on your way unless you have ample time and it will not delay you accomplishing your pre-flight duties and boarding
This did.. not going over well. Here’s the President of the American Airlines flight attendants union in a memo to all flight attendants at the airline,
[E]arlier this week, all Flight Attendants received an insulting company communication attempting to remind us of ‘Moments that Matter’ for the Flight Attendant workgroup. It now seems that skipping food runs on the way to the airplane and monitoring traffic patterns should be our new normal.
This company continues to demonstrate just how out-of-touch they are with Flight Attendants, ignoring the fatigue-inducing trip construction and the constant battles over mask compliance. American sees this as a golden opportunity to make our lives more difficult by increasing reserve seniority and throwing 27% of a crew base on reserve instead of working to make our lives easier in this challenging environment.
American Airlines seems to have forgotten that Flight Attendants spend the most time with our customers. Flight Attendants have done an outstanding job of welcoming our new leisure travelers that make up a good portion of our revenue and stand ready to welcome back our business travelers, all while attempting to maintain a safe cabin environment. It is time that we are recognized for our work and our sacrifices instead of receiving a callous communication asking us to skip a meal while on duty.
It is time for American Airlines to treat Flight Attendants with dignity and recognize the sacrifices we have made to restore American to profitability.
There’s a certain irony in the President of the flight attendants union claiming her members are welcoming the airline’s customers, and complaining about being asked to skip meals, when she’s also taken credit for keeping the airline from serving drinks to passengers in coach for the past year (which will finally return in June).
Here’s the full ‘Moments That Matter’ memo that caused the controversy.
May 3, 2021
All flight attendants
Departing on time is a team effort and requires coordination and cooperation among various departments including Flight Service, Flight Ops, Tech Ops, Customer Care and others. As a professional flight attendant, you play a pivotal role in helping us leave on time, every time. As our customers begin to fill our planes and return to travel, it’s more important now than ever to ensure we’re doing our part.
Here are some tips and things to consider to be sure you’re on time and ready to go.
Before you leave home or the hotel
- Is your tablet charged to at least 90%?
- Is your IFM synced to the latest version in Comply365?
- Are you allowing time for traffic, van delays, etc.?
At the airport or gate
- Consider arriving a few minutes early in case you’re selected for random screening or if you need to stop at a Crew Service Center (CSC)
- FA1 / Purser and the gate agent should plan boarding times and complete a departure dependability briefing (DDB)
- The DDB is crucial as load factors increase and coordination of baggage is vital
- Have a plan for contacting the agent during boarding that does not violate minimum crew
- Do not begin boarding unless you’ve verified that minimum crew is onboard and you’ve confirmed it with the agent
- The Pre-journey Checklist lets you focus on a few important areas before you fly your trip Comply365 My Publications > 01IFM/PAs/COVID19 > COVID19 > Pre-journey Checklist
- Actively assist customers with finding their seats and stowing their luggage
- Our Oasis aircraft have extra-large bins and can accommodate almost all bags brought on board the aircraft; coordinate with the agent
- New leisure customers have increased and may need your attention in getting settled as they board
- Deliver the pre-departure boarding PAs as needed
- Don’t leave the aircraft unless there is a life-threatening emergency once boarding begins
Sitting Standby Reserve?
- You may not have time to stop and get food, etc. on the way to the plane – particularly if you’re called at the last minute, so keep that in mind
- Go directly to the aircraft if you are called; do not stop for food or other items on your way unless you have ample time and it will not delay you accomplishing your pre-flight duties and boarding
- Keep your tablet charged so if you’re called for a flight it’s at 90%
If you’re running late or not going to make your trip
Communication is key. Sometimes unexpected things happen, so if you’re running late, let us know. If you’re departing a base city, call the Crew Service Center and let them know. That way they can coordinate with other departments and/or Crew Scheduling. If you’re mid-sequence/not in a base city, contact Crew Tracking.
And if you’re sick or are going to miss your trip, please call Crew Scheduling (at trip origination) or Crew Tracking (mid-sequence) to let them know as soon as possible.
On-time departures and arrivals translate to higher customer satisfaction scores, creating loyal customers. If you are ready to fly — no matter what time of day you begin — that means American is one step closer to an on-time departure for our customers.