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After Delta Adds Pre-Flight Pay, Other Flight Attendants Want Carriers to Follow Suit

Flight attendants at American Airlines and Southwest Airlines want to get paid for their pre-flight preparations, after Delta Air Lines added the pay for their crews.
Now that flight attendants for Delta Air Lines are getting paid for pre-flight preparations, workers at other airlines are also want credit for all their hours.


The Dallas Morning News reports unions at American Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines want their hours getting the plane ready for passengers to be paid as well.


New Contracts Negotiations to Include Pre-Flight Pay

Delta will become the first major U.S. airline to pay attendants for their pre-flight work on June 2, 2020. The Associated Press reports while workers will get paid for time during preparations and boarding, it will only be half of their regular rate.


Now that Delta workers will get wages for time that is traditionally unpaid, unionized workers at other airlines are pressuring their companies to do the same. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents cabin crews at Alaska Airlines, said they will raise the issue of boarding pay to their “opening proposal” on a future contract. The Association of Professional Flight Attendants, which represents workers at American Airlines, are already adding pre-flight pay in their contract negotiations with the Fort Worth-based carrier. Transportation Workers Union Local 556, which represents Southwest flight attendants, also say they will make it part of their future contract priorities.


While the issue stood on the radar of the flight attendant unions, it was often placed on the backburner with pay hikes and benefit increases taking center stage. With fewer flight attendants at airlines in the skies and cancellations becoming a major issue, getting paid for the pre-boarding work is once again becoming a priority.


Traditionally, flight attendants are paid a very small hourly wage for time between flights, along with a per diem to cover meals and other incidentals. The airlines involved have not publicly commented on the issue.


Pay Hikes and Uniform Options Come as Delta Faces Unionization Effort

Delta’s moves to keep flight attendants happy comes as the AFA-CWA is working to organize the current non-unionized workers at the Atlanta-based carrier. In addition to the pay bump, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports the carrier also introduced a second uniform option, after fielding complaints the current uniform caused some to experience severe allergic reactions.

fissfiss May 15, 2022

The more important point is that they will be covered under workmen's comp, which I do not believe they were if not on the clock.

CincyTraveler May 4, 2022

It's about time this happened. Would people agree to work for free in any other industry? It's not like FAs are just hanging out, waiting to start. They are required to be present for this activity. Of COURSE they should be paid for it.

dliesse May 4, 2022

Personally, and wearing my HR hat (one of many), I don't understand why FAs aren't paid from the minute they're required to report in.  I've never agreed with paying someone for clocking in before they actually start work, but as soon as they start their preflight briefings -- whether on the plane or in an office below the concourse -- they should be paid at that point.  This is just one of those anomalies for railway and airline workers; in any other industry they'd be getting paid for more time than they are now (the whole idea of paying someone by the hour is ludicrous anyway, but that's a completely different topic).

DFW_Airwolf May 4, 2022

The problem with Unionezed Workgroups is they dont want to give anything back. The Airlines will analyze how much it will cost on average for this pay to be included and then figure out how much it will have to reduce other areas of their pay to compensate for this. They then will add another BIG CHUNK of $$$$$ they want back for manuvering room. Hopefully the Union will make the same analysis, but will then come up with another figure that shows this will COST the worker $$$$$ so they need to get more. And then the negotioans will start.

With that out of the way. YES the FA's deserve to be paid for this WORK Activity they agreed to NOT be paid for a long time ago in exchange for Higher In-Flight Work Pay. And hence why Unions arent always a good thing. FA's or any worker deseves to be paid for every minute they work. But the UNIONS have mucked up the Aviation Industry so much, it would take Multiple NUCLEAR Deals to unravel it all and get some semblance out of it. If you need more WORDS than "You Work this MUCH, You get PAID this much" then it is too complicated.

MRM May 4, 2022

So Delta WILL become the first on June 2 of two years ago...  ;)