American Airlines flight attendants picketing at SFO, not expected to impact travel, company says

ByLena Howland KGO logo
Wednesday, November 16, 2022
Here's why American Airlines flight attendants are picketing at SFO
American Airlines flight attendants will be picketing at SFO and 10 other airports as they seek wage increases for the first time since 2019.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- American Airlines flight attendants will be picketing at nearly a dozen airports across the country, including at SFO, starting around 11 a.m. outside of Terminal 1.

They are working to secure a contract complete with a wage increase for the first time since 2019.

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American Airlines says it will relocate hundreds of San Francisco International Airport-based flight attendants to other parts of the country.

They say American Airlines management has continuously rejected contract proposals that they believe will improve the airline's operational reliability and flight attendant work life.

The union representing these workers, called the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, says even though flight hours across the country have returned to pre-pandemic levels, there are thousands fewer flight attendants now. This makes it even more challenging to recover from weather events.

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It also means longer work days, minimal rest, and more rescheduled operations, leading to exhaustion and crews timing out.

New-hire flight attendants are required to move into hub cities with astronomical housing costs - like Boston, Miami and New York - leaving many struggling to afford the cost of living.

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American Airlines says that the picketing will have no impact on their operation.

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"American's flight attendants are the best in the business, and like all our team members, deserve to be paid well and competitively," the airline said in a statement. "We continue to meet regularly with the Association of Professional Flight Attendants to reach an agreement that benefits both our flight attendants and operation, and we respect the right of our flight attendants to participate in informational picketing."

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