The news came a week after Delta Air Lines announced that it will start paying its flight attendants during the boarding process by June 2022.
“Boarding for us is one of the hardest times during our flights,”Julie Hedrick, President of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), told Dallas Morning News.
“We are getting everyone seated and you’ve seen the last two years what happens when we are on the ground,” Hedrick added.
Delta’s decision to pay flight attendants during boarding has given fresh hope to efforts currently underway by unions at American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) and Southwest Airlines (LUV) who are asking management to include boarding pay in their contracts, which are currently being renegotiated.
“Pay for boarding has set a new industry standard,” Lyn Montgomery, head of Southwest Airlines’ (LUV) flight attendants union, told Dallas Morning News.
Meanwhile, the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), in a note to its members working for United Airlines, had lauded Delta Airlines’ (DAL) decision to pay its flight attendants during boarding. “Earlier this week, Delta management announced they would begin paying their Flight Attendants boarding pay at half the rate of flight time pay. This is a good thing, and, in our view, all Flight Attendants should receive boarding pay. After all, this has been a priority for Flight Attendants for at least the last twenty years.”
Traditionally, flight attendants across the United States begin to be paid once the passenger boarding process has been completed and after the aircraft doors have closed. The AFA states that boarding is often the hardest part of flight attendant duties and, due to extra security measures during and post-pandemic, had increased from 35 to 40 minutes.
“The pay is traditionally based on pilot pay structure and we’ve fought hard to increase the $ for flight hours with pay protections. But boarding is often the hardest part of our day and it’s only gotten harder this year,” the AFA said.