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Payroll Support Program (PSP) End Impacts FRA, HKG and NRT Colleagues

Date: October 1, 2021

While the success of the hard-fought Payroll Support Program is undeniable and that we must celebrate that accomplishment because of what the support meant for so many workers both in and associated with the airline industry, we must also face the reality that accompanies the end of the PSP.  That is, our colleague from FRA, HKG and NRT are no longer with us.

It’s hard for us to believe that it was one year ago today that United management moved forward with the decision to close the International bases at FRA, HKG and NRT – all lynchpins in the success of our airline.   The Flight Attendants at these locations, many citizens of the countries in which these bases were located were left behind, separated from each other and the support systems these friendships and professional associations provided them. 

All of this occurred within the context of the pandemic which made finding work in the field they loved a virtual impossibility.  Given the world economic realities, many of our colleagues are still in search of gainful employment. 

While we struggle with these realities, we take tremendous satisfaction when any of our colleagues obtain the necessary documentation to work from a base within the United States.  And, when this does happen, we welcome each one of them home.

Many, however, are faced with the difficult decision of resignation or retirement in order to protect the benefits they earned from years of dedicated service to our airline.  We realize these are difficult, highly individualized decisions.   And, we stand with our friends as they make the difficult choices they are required to make.

As difficult as it always is to say good-bye to friends and family at the end of a very satisfying visit, all of us are faced with an even more difficult goodbye to those who have elected to resign or retire.  Know we wish you well as you embark on your next journey and be assured, you will be missed.

For those who continue to pursue documentation that will allow them to work from a location in the United States, we encourage you to keep up that dedicated work.  Know that when you are successful in doing so, we will welcome you back with open arms.  And then, standing together, we will remember all those who made the bases at FRA, HKG and NRT the successes they were and we will keep their legacy of service and dedication alive. The people from each of these bases are a part of us, a part of United Airlines. That will always be true no matter what management or an arbitrator says.  They are a part of us, and always will be.  No one can take this from us.  Ever.

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