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Association of Flight Attendants-CWA calling for leisure air travel restrictions?

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA calling for leisure air travel restrictions?

Old Apr 26, 20, 7:16 pm
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Association of Flight Attendants-CWA calling for leisure air travel restrictions?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurabe.../#45b3927c45a0

"...the union of flight attendants, which is calling on the Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services, to “end all leisure travel until the virus is contained”—the words of Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), who penned an open letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Health Secretary Alex Azar..."

Any thoughts on the likelihood of this? I read this report this morning with some sense of foreboding. I certainly understand why the FAs want pax to wear facemasks but to stop leisure travel will surely be the demise of the industry as I do not see Untied and OALs will recover in the short term. I personally have a trip planned for the end of next month so am concerned that United may cancel the flight (already been switched from one cancelled flight) or deny me boarding if I cannot prove a business need. Not sure how that works for refunds as none of these restrictions existed when i booked the trip.

(Moderators please move if this belongs in another thread.)
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Old Apr 26, 20, 7:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Aussienarelle View Post
Any thoughts on the likelihood of this?
Probably a good idea, but how could they enforce it?
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Old Apr 26, 20, 7:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Aussienarelle View Post
https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurabe.../#45b3927c45a0

"...the union of flight attendants, which is calling on the Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services, to “end all leisure travel until the virus is contained”—the words of Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), who penned an open letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Health Secretary Alex Azar..."
I have to wonder how many people are traveling for leisure at the moment given there are not many places to go when you arrive anywhere, pretty hard to enforce if it came I would think.The bigger question is what she/they mean by "until the virus is contained" is that the current CDC guideline for stage 1 reopening of states ?(not being followed in Georgia) , when there are effective therapeutics ??, a vaccine ??

Last edited by wanderingkev; Apr 26, 20 at 7:57 pm
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Old Apr 27, 20, 3:38 am
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as much as we love leisure travel, this makes sense. if i was a crew member, i would feel that my health and safety outweighs the concern of people missing their holidays or United not recovering
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Old Apr 27, 20, 6:50 am
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They're a bit late, aren't they?
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Old Apr 27, 20, 7:01 am
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Will there be emotional support exemptions? I predict a website where people can pay to get a fake letter from a psychologist one has never met saying that one's leisure travel is part of (non)treatment for an emotional problem. Maybe such people could wear red vests when flying and even claim free accommodation at hotels.
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Old Apr 27, 20, 8:15 am
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"...the union of flight attendants, which is calling on the Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services, to “end all leisure travel until the virus is contained”
What's the history of the DOT and DHHS coordinating together on orders of that magnitude? Would their combined authority alone be able to put forth something like this as an enforceable emergency order vs. a recommendation? How long would it take for a workable policy to be formulated and made effective? And as others have touched on, what would be required as proof of essential travel? Or would the burden be given to gate agents or flight crew to discern case by case, like denying boarding to drunk passengers? ("You can't fly today; you look inebriated. And you can't fly today; you look like you're headed to PHX for a golfing weekend.")

I'm asking from a place of complete ignorance on related policies and precedents. I'm curious how this might even work.
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Old Apr 27, 20, 8:56 am
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Why is a business trip more important than a leisure trip?
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Old Apr 27, 20, 9:02 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingUnderTheRadar View Post
Why is a business trip more important than a leisure trip?
Seriously?
A business trip can include technicians flying to repair air traffic control systems. Or physicians traveling for vaccine development/testing. et al ad infinitum
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Old Apr 27, 20, 9:34 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingUnderTheRadar View Post
Why is a business trip more important than a leisure trip?
Originally Posted by TBD View Post
Seriously?
A business trip can include technicians flying to repair air traffic control systems. Or physicians traveling for vaccine development/testing. et al ad infinitum
I believe the distinctions here are among leisure travel, business travel, and essential travel. I suspect FlyingUnderTheRadar was asking the OP, who talked about a trip with a business need.

The letter from the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) doesn't mention business needs, only essential travel. From page 4 of their letter:

Protect Essential Service by Air, End Leisure Travel Until Virus Is Contained
Finally, we call on lawmakers and regulators to take further action to limit the spread of the virus by restricting air travel to only that necessary to continue essential services. Airlines are continuing to deliver people, mail, and cargo, uniting families that are grieving or rushing to be with those who have fallen ill, and transporting others who require medical treatment unrelated to the pandemic. These are some of the many essential services provided by aviation to all of our communities – large and small - that must be maintained as the pandemic continues. We believe that protecting this essential service and ensuring air travel is not aiding in spread of the virus requires a halt to all leisure travel until the pandemic is brought under control according to health authorities. We appreciate the swift steps DOT has taken to put in place a process for airlines to request exemptions on flights that do not assist materially in the essential service to our communities. We believe we can all do more together and will work for a brief anti-trust exemption so DOT can coordinate a schedule with airlines to continue essential service only. In addition, we request messaging from all leadership to encourage the public to end leisure travel until we have “flattened the curve.”
Update: I mean that the examples "technicians flying to repair air traffic control systems. Or physicians traveling for vaccine development/testing" would fall under essential travel, not business travel.

Last edited by TheStrangerIn29K; Apr 27, 20 at 10:35 am
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Old Apr 27, 20, 10:59 am
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In a free country we are all free to make choices and we are all free to agree or disagree with each others choices. If a flight attendant feels unsafe working they are free to stop working with the associated loss of revenue, a trade off. If I decide to fly to Charlotte to visit my relatives I make the same tradeoff and decide whether or not to fly. The flight attendant has no right to tell me my flight is not important and I am not allowed to take it. If they want to discourage leisure travel and make the case I should not fly to Charlotte I will listen and take their views into consideration. But telling me I cannot travel is way outside the bounds.
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Old Apr 27, 20, 3:26 pm
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Originally Posted by scottinaz View Post
In a free country we are all free to make choices and we are all free to agree or disagree with each others choices. If a flight attendant feels unsafe working they are free to stop working with the associated loss of revenue, a trade off. If I decide to fly to Charlotte to visit my relatives I make the same tradeoff and decide whether or not to fly. The flight attendant has no right to tell me my flight is not important and I am not allowed to take it. If they want to discourage leisure travel and make the case I should not fly to Charlotte I will listen and take their views into consideration. But telling me I cannot travel is way outside the bounds.
I am not sure that the land of the free stuff applies in the Pandemic scenario,I think that this is were the whole testing thing is important eg some sort of health clearance to travel knowing that an individual is not bouncing around the country infecting not just FA's but the general population.
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Old Apr 27, 20, 10:52 pm
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There is nothing mandatory about flying and everyone on an airplane makes their own decision on whether to fly. So the land of the free stuff absolutely applies. The same logic that would prohibit me from flying would also prohibit me from walking down the sidewalk, pumping gas, going to a grocery store or any thing else I would do since each of these things could potentially impact others and if that is the only requirement then the government can prevent me from doing anything. Here let me show you:

Finally, we call on lawmakers and regulators to take further action to limit the spread of the virus by restricting sidewalk traffic to only that necessary to continue essential services. Public pathways are continuing to deliver people, mail, and cargo, uniting families that are grieving or rushing to be with those who have fallen ill, and transporting others who require medical treatment unrelated to the pandemic. These are some of the many essential services provided by public walkways to all of our communities – large and small - that must be maintained as the pandemic continues. We believe that protecting this essential service and ensuring those utilizing sidewalks and common areas is not aiding in spread of the virus requires a halt to all leisure traffic until the pandemic is brought under control according to health authorities.. We believe we can all do more together and will work to coordinate a schedule to continue essential traffic only. In addition, we request messaging from all leadership to encourage the public to end leisure use of public walkways until we have “flattened the curve.”
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Old Apr 28, 20, 2:30 am
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You don't have a right to infect someone else. That's the part that those who think this is an issue of freedom or rights infringement just can't or won't get. The virus also doesn't care one bit about your views in that area...all it cares about is finding hosts and continuing to live.

That said, there hasn't been much of a problem to this point because much of the "there" has been removed - even many of the parks are closed. So even if you stay at Motel 6 and eat in your car in the McDonald's parking lot, all or nearly all of the attractions are closed.

That's slowly changing with some states irresponsibly trying to re-open too soon, even though they don't come close to meeting the guidelines. We won't get Disney world or the casinos in Las Vegas (except maybe socially distanced slots) anytime soon, and big events like concerts might need to wait for a vaccine.

FAs have the same concern as grocery workers, postal workers, etc, except that they're in an even more enclosed space as far as spreading droplets go. Requiring masks could be reasonable, except that given how you can't buy them, airlines should be obligated to provide single-use ones, at least as long as the risk is high. Undoubtedly they'll also want to do fever zappers, like in Asia, though those have both false positives and false negatives and won't screen out all the carriers.

It's easy to see the FAs being open to criticism because they're also getting special job-security treatment that many workers aren't getting.

Finally, we call on lawmakers and regulators to take further action to limit the spread of the virus by restricting sidewalk traffic to only that necessary to continue essential services. Public pathways are continuing to deliver people, mail, and cargo, uniting families that are grieving or rushing to be with those who have fallen ill, and transporting others who require medical treatment unrelated to the pandemic. These are some of the many essential services provided by public walkways to all of our communities – large and small - that must be maintained as the pandemic continues. We believe that protecting this essential service and ensuring those utilizing sidewalks and common areas is not aiding in spread of the virus requires a halt to all leisure traffic until the pandemic is brought under control according to health authorities.. We believe we can all do more together and will work to coordinate a schedule to continue essential traffic only. In addition, we request messaging from all leadership to encourage the public to end leisure use of public walkways until we have “flattened the curve.”
Sidewalks aren't enclosed metal tubes with recirculated air. The closest thing I can think of to that on the ground might be a Waffle House, and those are take-out only around here.

I'm a bit on the fence with this one. It's bound to create more tension as tourism-dependent areas try to reopen as much as they safely can, and you've also got the traditional summer high season. OTOH, the states that go too fast could easily see another spike about 3 weeks afterward and have to go back to lockdowns. By June or July you could have well-controlled situations in, say, California but poorly controlled ones in Georgia.
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Old Apr 28, 20, 6:51 am
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Well this ignore the fact that if you are under age 65 you are at more risk to die in an automobile accident. Obesity kills more and is a factor in COVID 19. But instead let's have hysteria.

BTW what is essential travel and how long do these FAs think airlines can fly around with 10% load factors. UA is already saying it will need more government support. Massive layoffs are looming in a world of 25% unemployment. Don't think there's that many FAs that know how to code. If I were a FA I be a hell of lot more scared about losing my job in a Global Depression than COVID 19.

BTW that US agreement says airlines will continue to keep staff on (at minimum hours, ask any FA about living on minimum hours) as long as "practical." Want to take bets when airlines tell the government it's no longer "practical" to keep crew and ground staff employed.
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