Navigating Through COVID into our Collective Future
August 13, 2021
As a Union and as a company, we are all grateful for the robust return of passengers to our domestic market. In addition to having full airplanes and United’s schedule so vigorous that it has resulted in a myriad of days requiring white flag, we recognize that while people want to get from point A to B, they want to do so safely. And, while demand for travel may have improved, the COVID-19 pandemic has not, to a level we all might like.
With the rapid and virulent spread of the Delta variant, many areas of the country are experiencing an increase in positive COVID test results and a corresponding increase in hospitalizations that rival the period of this past February. Not only is demand for hospital facilities increasing, but we are also seeing an increase in demand for pediatric specialized care. Add to this the fact that breakthrough infections for those who have been vaccinated are also showing up, emphasizes the need for our society to collectively stand together to do what is necessary to defeat this virus.
We all share a common interest in the need for United to be successful. Safety, however, is the priority. During this time of renewed caution and safety, we’ve heard from many of you, that you are surprised that United is introducing additional service components, increasing not only “touch points” but also time in the aisle with passengers. The concept of less contact, such as the contactless payment for credit cards is a prudent one, creates a safe environment for passengers and crew and is clearly something we can all get behind. We want you to know that we understand your concerns. These items related to service and Flight Attendant roles in that service are part of a larger conversation that your AFA leadership is having with Inflight management as we navigate this uncertain course through increasing COVID-19 infections. Our advocacy will continue in the weeks ahead and we will provide you with updates on our progress as it becomes available.