Home > News > AFA DEBRIEF: May 10, 2022

AFA DEBRIEF: May 10, 2022

Date: May 10, 2022

AFA DEBRIEF – MAY 10, 2022

  • Mask Compliance
  • May is Mental Health Awareness Month
  • No Early Boarding
  • Spring 2022 MEC and AFA BOD Meetings
  • Welcome Class 2210!


Mask Compliance

In a Safety Alert from United this week, which replaces the previous information from April 19, management clarifies the requirements and expectations of crewmember mask compliance. In those cases where a mask is required onboard select international flights, it applies to both crew and customers.

United clarifies:

  • When flying TO a country with a mask requirement, masks must be worn from the gate reader at the departure station through arrival in the foreign destination.
  • This is not optional for flight attendants, even while in flight. It is the expectation that you to set the right example and wear a mask in full compliance with the requirement.
  • When flying FROM a country with a mask requirement, masks must be worn until departure.

As we continue to move forward through the pandemic, mask requirements and testing may continue to change. Please refer to United’s Safety Alert for additional details.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Each May we raise awareness about the importance of mental health and its impact on the well-being across our Nation.  We also give thanks to the dedicated mental health providers whose service and support improve the lives of so many Americans. 

Even before the pandemic, millions of Americans were experiencing stress, trauma, anxiety, and heightened levels of depression.  The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated those conditions, creating an unprecedented mental health crisis across our country.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the rate of depression across the country has more than tripled compared to rates in 2019.  One in five American adults experiences some form of mental illness in any given year. And across the population, one in every twenty adults are living with a serious mental health condition such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or long-term recurring major depression.

Unfortunately, many people either do not seek treatment or remain unaware that certain symptoms could be connected to a mental health condition. Distinguishing between expected behaviors and others that might be the sign of a mental illness isn't always easy and many of us lack the professional skill set to know the difference.

Mental Illness can present in several different forms and illnesses.  Each illness has its own symptoms, but there are some common signs of mental illness that present in adults and adolescents.  Some of these symptoms are as follow:

  • Excessive worrying or fear
  • Feeling excessively sad or low
  • Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning
  • Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria
  • Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
  • Avoiding friends and social activities
  • Difficulties understanding or relating to other people
  • Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy
  • Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Difficulty perceiving reality (delusions or hallucinations, in which a person experiences and senses things that don't exist in objective reality)
  • Inability to perceive changes in one’s own feelings, behavior or personality (” lack of insight” or anosognosia)
  • Overuse of substances like alcohol or drugs
  • Multiple physical ailments without obvious causes (such as headaches, stomach aches, vague and ongoing “aches and pains”)
  • Thinking about suicide
  • Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress
  • An intense fear of weight gain or concern with appearance

If you are concerned about any of these signs either in yourself, a loved one or a flying partner, please reach out to our AFA EAP Committee for confidential peer support and assistance.  Call 1-800-424-2406 or locate your Local Council AFA EAP Committee members at using this resource.

We stand in solidarity with those who are experiencing mental health conditions, renewing our commitment to providing them with the support they need and deserve. 

No Early Boarding

The summer travel months are quickly approaching and with the Memorial Day holiday weekend around the corner, we’re starting to feel the impact of fuller flights.

We all know summer travel can be fraught with weather, delays and quick turns, all of which put additional stress and time sensitivity on frontline workers who are already task saturated.

We ask that you be proactive in an effort to avoid early boarding. When you arrive at the gate prior to boarding, confirm the scheduled boarding time with the CSR to ensure everyone is on the same page. If you are asked to board early, politely remind those who may be asking that this is our time to thoroughly complete safety checks and prepare for the arrival of passengers and to be prepared to facilitate boarding.

In the unfortunate event of a misunderstanding or a refusal to adhere to boarding times, time permitting, contact Inflight for in the moment support and file an IOR and ISAP to record the events of the incident.

As a reminder when filing an IOR always check the box to include AFA. The reports you help generate give our Union the data it needs to ensure our Contract is being followed and our needs are being met.

By following our Contract and utilizing their provisions to the full measure strengthens the language as a whole and reduces the potential for violations in the future.

Spring 2022 MEC and AFA BOD Meetings

This week, the Spring 2022 Regular Meeting of the United Master Executive Council will take place in person, May 11-12, 2022, in conjunction with the 49th Annual AFA Board of Directors Meeting.

The MEC meeting Agenda is posted in the Meetings section of the MEC Website.

These meetings are open to Members in good standing. If you happen to be in Las Vegas on the dates the meeting is scheduled, we encourage your attendance and participation in our Democratic process.

As part of our meeting safety protocols, to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 we have established the following:

  • No person may knowingly attend the meeting if they are COVID positive.
  • Masks are optional, unless required by local ordinance or private businesses (Neither Las Vegas nor Bally’s have this requirement at this time). The exception to this is if a participant begins to feel symptoms, she/he should take typical precautions such as wearing a mask and testing.
  • Practice regular hand hygiene and always ask before shaking hands or hugging. Some individuals may prefer fist or elbow bumps.
  • Mutual respect includes COVID protocols. We will not condone shaming or disrespect of any individuals’ choice regarding masking, not masking, or otherwise.

We appreciate your cooperation and support as we resume more normal meeting practices.

The meeting will be held at Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, 3645 South Las Vegas Blvd Las Vegas NV 89109.

Welcome Class 2210!

We are excited to welcome our newest flying partners from class 2210 as part of our Flight Attendant community. Our newest flying partners will begin their careers in DEN, EWR, IAD, IAH, LAX and ORD.

We encourage you to welcome each of them amiably, help them learn from your experience to get them started on a path to success and adventure in their new career.

Please remember, our newest Members are on probation and to ensure that they are receiving the most accurate information to support them, be sure to direct them to their Local Council for assistance on Contractual issues.

And if you would like to become an AFA Buddy, reach out to your Local Council to learn how you can become part of this vital link to their success.


MAY – Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
MAY – Mental Health Awareness Month
MAY 11 – 12 Spring Regular Meeting of the United MEC, Las Vegas, NV
MAY 13 – 15 AFA Board of Directors Meeting, Las Vegas, NV
MAY 30 – U.S. Memorial Day Holiday



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