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VSL: A New Beginning and Wishing our Friends Farewell

Date: February 26, 2021

The history of AFA and United was built by Flight Attendants. Each one of us has played a pivotal role as safety professionals turning what may have once been considered a short-term job into a meaningful lifelong career.

This month, approximately 1,600 of our flying partners have elected to participate in the Voluntary Leave Separation (VSL) program and, as a result, will step into the next chapter of their lives. As we wish a larger group of our Sisters and Brothers farewell in the coming weeks, we should realize this is significant and each of us will experience different emotions as we do so.

To all our Members who have generously elected, in fact decided, to participate in the Voluntary Separation Leave, know that we are grateful for your years of professionalism, dedication and service as well as the sacrifice we know was part of making this decision.  There are no words to adequately express our appreciation for your contributions to the success of our career and our profession.  However, know that your efforts, both personally and professionally, have created an admirable legacy each of you leave behind.   Our career is unique and can only be fully appreciated by those who have ‘walked in our shoes.’  As a result of that journey, no matter where life takes us, we will always be Flight Attendants.

Over the course of their distinguished careers, many of those who will be leaving us to begin their leaves into retirement have served their flying partners, career, and our Union in any number of ways.  Serving as a mentor to those joining our profession as new hires, serving on a Local Council Committees, or taking on the challenges inherent in a Union leadership position at the MEC level of our organization, each has exemplified the dedications and commitment to the career we have all come to know and cherish.

These Members, best known as volunteers, have not only dedicated themselves to exemplifying the Flight Attendant profession, but they have also been stewards of our Union and our profession.  Each in their own way has acted to safeguard our Members, Contract, and our Profession. Through their sacrifice and commitment, these individuals have made a difference. We are all grateful for all you have done and given of yourselves and each of us is better for having known you.

At times such as these, words do not do us justice.  There are no words to accurately capture the depth of our gratitude and appreciation.  And while an expression of appreciation seems inadequate, when expressed from the heart, it takes on an entirely different meaning.  On behalf of the United Master Executive Council and the many members represented, we thank you for your service and wish you only the absolute best as you begin your next great adventure.  All call complete.

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