Flight Attendant Union Submits Congressional Testimony On Dangers Of Knives In-Flight
April 11, 2013
Washington, DC – The
Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) today submitted official testimony
for the House Transportation
Security Subcommittee hearing on the Transportation Security Administration’s
(TSA) risk based security. Today’s hearing is meant to focus on a “stakeholder’s
perspective.” However, the majority members of the committee have failed to
include the Flight Attendant experience on the testimony panel. Nevertheless, in
addition to submitting written testimony, Flight Attendants will be there in
uniform to help keep the focus on the reckless policy change to allow knives
back in the aircraft cabin.
“It is critical
that we recognize the dangerous scenario of a small knife in the wrong hands
within the confines of the enclosed aircraft cabin and closely seated
passengers traveling at thousands of feet in the air. This abrupt
policy change does not make sense for combating potential terrorist attacks nor
the daily disturbances we handle in aircraft cabins that are fuller than ever,
while Flight Attendant staffing has been cut.
On a daily basis, Flight Attendants address, de-escalate, and when
necessary, direct other passengers to help contain disturbances on the
aircraft,” said AFA International President Veda Shook in her testimony.
As first responders and the last line of defense in aviation
security, Flight Attendants are critical stakeholders in transportation
security policy. However, the TSA’s decision to allow small knives through
security for the first time since the attacks of 9/11 was made without key
and passengers did not know what they faced on September 11, 2001. We were trained to survive a hijacking, to
keep everyone calm and safe until the aircraft could land. It was the heroic actions of Flight
Attendants on those flights that ensured our country had some of the first
intelligence of that horrific day. That intelligence made its way to the Flight
Attendants and passengers on flight 93 and they in turn acted without
reservation to sacrifice their own lives to save countless other on the
ground. They are heroes and we will
never forget their actions, nor will we ever disgrace their memory by
forgetting the lessons we learned. Let not one more American have to make the
heroic choice they made that day. Let us not invite another tragedy by failing
to apply what we know can happen today, added Shook.
The Association of Flight Attendants is the world’s
largest Flight Attendant union. Focused 100 percent on Flight Attendant issues,
AFA has been the leader in advancing the Flight Attendant profession for 67
years. Serving as the voice for Flight Attendants in the workplace, in the
aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill, AFA has transformed the Flight
Attendant profession by raising wages, benefits and working conditions.
Nearly 60,000 Flight Attendants come together to form AFA, part of the
700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit
us at www.afacwa.org.