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Safety – it is the Priority

Date: February 7, 2020


MEC Safety, Health & Security 

On February 5, 2020 United issued a Safety update in Inflight Services Weekly. The update suggests Flight Attendants “pump the breaks on holding boarding for maintenance”. More concerning perhaps was the statement about reporting cabin discrepancies prior to take-off, “if possible”. It is our job to ensure that all safety and emergency equipment is in order before door closure. We have an obligation to report discrepancies, in particular pre-flight and safety discrepancies, when we become aware of these and to report these to the purser and the captain.

As John Slater said earlier this year safety is our top priority. Quick turns and delays do not mean Flight Attendants should ever be placed in a situation where we are asked to compromise safety. While we understand the value of an on-time departure to our bottom line, Flight Attendants should resist any pressure to hurry through their safety responsibilities. Use your FAOM to conduct thorough preflight safety checks and ensure that any missing/inoperable required safety equipment is reported promptly, prior to door closure.

We are trained and certified to ensure the skies remain safe for our passengers and for ourselves. We can only do that when we are given the tools, the time, and the means to accomplish our safety checks - and the support to uphold FARs. Inflight has encouraged us to take a moment for safety when arming and disarming doors. You should take your moment for safety when accomplishing safety duties, while still being cognizant of the corporation’s on-time initiatives.

Remember, the boarding door DOES NOT CLOSE without our permission which is premised on the thorough completion of our required safety checks and other federally mandated responsibilities. Communicate with your Captain and the CSR working the flight to ensure you are all on the same page about the requirement for checks to be completed prior to door closure. Together we will continue to make United Airlines the safest in the sky. 

If you have experienced safety standards being compromised due to a rushed boarding or a Quick Turn file an ISAP, or an IOR and check the box to send a copy to AFA.  Reach out to your Local AFA Safety, Health & Security Committee for additional support. 

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