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United 685:You Will Be Missed, But Not Forgotten

Date: April 1, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Over the past several years we have all had the privilege of working with some of the most thoughtful, caring and wonderful people.  These flying partners began their careers at the post-bankrupt United Airlines.  They came to our chosen profession with questions, excitement of the new career they were about to begin and an eagerness to become part of the United Airlines Flight Attendant community. 

Just like the rest of us, they “loved people,” and they “loved to travel.”  There is something shared within each of us that leads us on the road to being a Flight Attendant.  The magic and allure of the job in the skies was met, as it was with all of us, by the realities of being a Flight Attendant at United Airlines.  Nevertheless, our peers remained bright and undaunted, and they dedicated themselves to a career punctuated by uncertainty and change.  This is not what being flexible was supposed to look like.

As we always do, our flying partners across the system took each and every one of these (brand) new hires under our collective wings and helped guide them through the transition from the training center life to the reality of the line.  Some worried that they didn’t know if they could do the job, or if they’d made the right decision to become a United Flight Attendant.  We have all been there ourselves at the beginning, and we encouraged them to stick it out, as the promise of the new United Airlines would bring change for the better. 

We showed our new hire friends around our aircraft and we showed them all of our favorite layover places.  We helped them learn the ropes in the real world, we supported instead of criticized, we shared our experience on the jumpseat and we talked them down from the ledge when needed.  Most of all, we promised them that they were now our family and that we would have their back.  We made this promise with pride and honor, because we take care of each other, always.

We loved our job, and we, just like they, need strong flying partners who we can rely on.  We nurtured and helped them succeed in every way that we could.  And succeed they did.  They dove head first into committing themselves to our profession and our airline.  We all were relying on the return of sacrifices from United’s bankruptcy and the bold future ahead of us.

Flash forward to today.  One hundred and eleven of our flying partners have been placed on Involuntary Furlough status.  Others have availed themselves of an opportunity to crossover to Continental, and yet others have chosen Partnership Flying.

Sometimes we don’t say thank you as often as we should.  Sometimes we forget to recognize what is important to us.  Today, we all express our deepest and fondest appreciation for our most junior Members who have made our lives the better for having flown with them.  We thank them for their commitment to our profession and for returning tenfold to us the sense of family and community who introduced to them a few years ago.  With the very utmost respect, gratitude and recognition we say thank you for inspiring us, for being willing to confront the challenges of being a United Flight Attendant and for your passion.

Today, these friends are now apart from us, but they wlll not be forgotten.  We wish them the absolute best and we will never rest until the dispute at the center of the decisions they were forced to make are resolved.  We will not rest until our friends, our flying partners are returned to their rightful place by our side, on the line.

Throughout the system, events for our 685 were held to be sure they know how very much we care.  Stories were shared and commitments renewed.  It is clear that Flight Attendants throughout the system are saying you will be missed and we look forward to the day when we will again be working together.  Our friendships will last forever, and you are so very appreciated because you are extraordinarily and uniquely qualified to be a United Flight Attendant.

In Solidarity,

Greg Davidowitch, President
United Master Executive Council

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