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Flight Attendants Achieve 10 Hours Rest with FAA Final Rule

Date: October 4, 2022

United AFA Leadership met with our AFA International officers, the National Officers for the Association of Professional Flight Attendants at American Airlines and Flight Attendants from American, Alaska, Delta, Endeavor, Frontier, Go Jet, Hawaiian and United Airlines to celebrate our collective success with the announcement that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had today, finalized a rule requiring 10 hours minimum, non-reducible rest for Flight Attendants between duty days – finally implementing a 2018 law that will make aviation safer for over 100,000 Flight Attendants and the passengers in our care. The rule will increase the rest period to 10 irreducible hours when scheduled for a duty period of 14 hours or less. Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, issued the following statement:

“President Biden delivered today. Five years ago, after decades of action by AFA members, science to back up our alarm on Flight Attendant fatigue, and relentless efforts with lawmakers, we achieved an overwhelming bipartisan vote to equalize minimum rest with commercial airline pilots. The law could not have been more clear, but instead of taking definitive direction from Congress, the Trump administration put our rest on a regulatory road to kill it. President Biden promised to make this a top priority to correct this and today under the leadership of Secretary Buttigieg and Acting FAA Administrator Nolan the rule for 10 hours irreducible rest for Flight Attendants is final.

“Credit first and foremost goes to Flight Attendants on the frontlines who fought so hard for this moment and need this rest more than ever in the most difficult time to work our jobs in the history of aviation. We also have to applaud the champions in Congress who made this possible, starting with then Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Chairman Norm Mineta who first proposed this minimum rest in 1994 and worked with us to ensure Congress would commission the fatigue studies that gave us the science to fully define this aviation safety loophole so we could close it. Finally, it was the leadership and relentless efforts of T&I Chair Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwel (D-WA), Aviation Subcommittee Chair Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), and Aviation Subcommittee Chair Rick Larsen (D-WA) along with so many others on these committees who ushered our rest to law. 

“We have been successful in setting these rest standards in several contracts, but this raises the minimum standard for all Flight Attendants and airlines will have to meet that standard in 90 days. It’s about time! As aviation's first responders and last line of defense, it is critical that we are well rested and ready to perform our duties. COVID has only exacerbated the safety gap with long duty days, short nights, and combative conditions on planes,” 

"Proper rest is critical for Flight Attendants to do our work as aviation’s first responders. Today was a long time coming, but it is here. We won’t forget how we achieved this major regulatory change for minimum rest. Flight Attendants need this rest to do our jobs. But ‘rest assured,’ we won’t ever rest in our work to ensure the continued safest transportation system in the world for all of the people within it.”

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