Ladies and Gentlemen:
Swift action on the part of Flight Attendants averted a Christmas Day tragedy on Northwest flight 253. As a result increased security measures have been implemented both onboard and on the ground. Our Safety, Health and Security Committee has been working diligently with United counterparts to implement the increased security procedures.
Keep in mind, by design, not all passengers will experience the same thing at every airport around the world. This planned unpredictability is an important strategy implemented by security agencies around the world. Not all enhanced measures will be obvious while others may be familiar. All procedures are intended to enhance the layers of security for the aviation industry.
There are no new credible threats to aviation safety and security. While an investigation of the flight 253 incident is still underway by the relevant authorities, these new procedures are being implemented out of an abundance of caution in compliance with Transportation Security Agency (TSA) guidance.
Many of us will be familiar with the new procedures which have been adapted to the current circumstance from prior enhanced security measures. For example, terrorist activity previously required modification to procedures when flying into Washington National Airport as well as enhanced screening measures implemented related to the December 2001 "shoe bomber" and the August 2006 plot involving liquids and gels.
As additional information is learned it may be necessary to update, amend or suspend these new procedures. Please be sure to check the Hotboard posting now available in your domicile. Follow all established security procedures contained in the Hotboard and your Flight Attendant Operations Manual.
As with any changes there will be additional questions and concerns identified. For additional assistance please file a Flight Attendant Safety Report (FASR) and ensure your AFA Local Council Safety, Health and Security Committee received a copy of your report.
Remain vigilant and fly safe.
Greg Davidowitch, President
United Master Executive Council