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#reUnited: Bringing our Colleagues Home

Date: August 17, 2022

When we talk about our Union, it is important to remember, our Union is collectively all of us. Each of us, individually and collective, are the power behind all that we do: the more we stand together, the stronger we are and the more we can achieve, together.

As Union Members and Flight Attendants, we are a community of individuals with shared values where we work to take care of and protect each other, through good times and bad. As is often said, “A harm to one is a harm to all.”

Many of us are not only aware of the plight of those Flight Attendants who were formerly based at the now closed domiciles in FRA, HKG and NRT, we know these individuals personally. They are our friends and colleagues and that they are no longer with us is felt by many of us. Each of us can easily sympathize with their situation and can easily imagine what it would be like to suddenly lose the connection to friends, our livelihood and our way of life.


Of all the many crises in our industry that we have collectively overcome, perhaps the most impactful was the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic. Flight Attendants came together as never before to support not only our airline, but each other, increasing the likelihood of our survival.

We came together and successfully lobbied for essential protection under the Payroll Support Program and collectively participated in the largest and most successful voluntary reduction in manpower ever seen at this airline. In the absence of these collective efforts, United would have had to make different decisions setting our course to survival on a completely different course. While we now enjoy the good fortune of remaining connected to our airline on a course to success, not all Flight Attendants were as lucky.

Closed, and nowhere to go:

When demand for international air travel collapsed in March 2020, United responded by announcing the closure of the International bases at FRA, HKG, and NRT, effective October 2020. Flight Attendants at these bases were told that they could relocate to a base in the U.S., but that’s only an option for those having the necessary documents to work from a base in the U.S. Hundreds of our flying partners, with no documents enabling them to work from the U.S. and no recourse, lost their jobs and were separated from United. These were long serving contributors to the success of airline who contributed to our growth in lands far from our homes. These Flight Attendants made a difference for our airline.

Seven Months Remain for Action:

On October 28, 2020, United Airlines and AFA negotiated an agreement which allows for Flight Attendants from the closed International bases to be rehired if they obtained documentation to work from a base in the U.S. or if United announced vacancies in London (or any new international base) by March 31, 2023. This deadline is fast approaching and our AFA Members need our help!

United is hiring:

As the Coronavirus pandemic slows and there has been a tremendous resurge in demand for air travel, United has announced the most significant expansion in the history of our airline and is now seeking staff to help cover both the current operation and prepare for our future growth. These are trained, highly qualified, competent individuals who but for a small bit of training and the opportunity, are ready, willing and able to contribute to our growth and success from day one.

Management – it’s time to be #reUnited:

Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, we worked collaboratively with management to find solutions that kept the airline going. Many Flight Attendants made personal sacrifices by taking Special COLAs, Partnership Flying, the Furlough Mitigation Program and Furloughs. Management claims that everyone who wanted to come back has been returned, but unfortunately, this is simply NOT true. The coronavirus crisis won’t be over until everyone has been able to return, including this group of trained, professional Flight Attendants who are ready to come back to work. United, it’s time to make this right!

Watch their story:

Please take a moment to watch their video and learn first-hand from our colleagues about what happened to them when United closed their base, and how they are waiting for the opportunity to rejoin the United family. Help by sharing this story using #reUnited.

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