US Airways Flight Attendants Demand Public Apology
March 3, 2005
Company Wrongly Accused Employees for Management Shortcomings
PITTSBURGH – The following statement was released today by Teddy Xidas, president of the Association of Flight Attendants US Airways Master Executive Council, in response to the Department of Transportation Inspector General's report on US Airways' failure to meet passenger needs during the 2004 holiday season:
"We are gratified that the DOT report supports what we have stated all along: US Airways management failed to make the proper preparations to deal with the anticipated crush of holiday travel. Management added insult to injury by falsely accusing flight attendants for the problems.
"US Airways' contention that travel disruptions were due to a high number of sick calls by flight attendants is refuted by the evidence cited by the report: Sick call rates in 2004 were the same or lower than the same dates in 2003. The report also found that flight attendant ranks had been cut 8.4 percent in Philadelphia over the year, while scheduled departures had grown by 33 percent.
"Blaming flight attendants for the problems of service over the holidays was like blaming the troops in Iraq for the insurgency because there are too few of them. The people who run the company need to face up to their own failures.
"We believe US Airways owes its flight attendants a public apology, and I have urged management to issue such an apology as soon as possible. It's wrong to hold up to public scorn those employees whose job it is to provide personal service to the public. We would never desert our passengers, and US Airways should acknowledge our commitment."