American Airlines to Reduce Staffing on International Flights Amidst Pandemic Furloughs

By Kurt Stolz on 14 September 2020
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First-class seat on an American Airbus A321T

The union representing American Airlines’ flight attendants said that the airline plans to make significant changes in how the airline will staff flights starting in October once the airline’s reduction in staffing takes place.

The changes go into effect on international flights that offer premium cabins such as Flagship First – International and Flagship Business – International as well as on its premium transcon routes.

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants notified its members of the changes in a memorandum viewed by Frequent Business Traveler and said it objects to them. It also said that it was not a party to the discussions that resulted in the changes.

“The Company has notified APFA of their intention to change the staffing levels on specific equipment and routes, beginning with the October bid month,” the union said.  “APFA strongly objects to any staffing changes during this challenging time, and we did not participate in any discussions related to the staffing level changes.”

The airline will reduce staffing on the Boeing 777-300ER from 13 to 11 and on the 777-200 from ten to nine. Staffing on the Airbus A321T which American uses for its premium transcon routes will go from six to five flight attendants.

What the remaining flight attendants do on board flights will also change.

The union said that the new staffing creates “an unreasonable workload” for flight attendants and that it will fight for a return to pre-October 1 staffing.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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