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Impact of Operational Challenges Update

Date: June 27, 2023

Our airline continues to face unprecedented difficulties due to various operational challenges such as adverse weather conditions, thunderstorms across much of the East Coast of the United States as well as gusty wind conditions in Denver presenting the possibility of diversions.  As a result, there are ground delay programs in effect in many of our east coast and Florida stations.

There have been hundreds of cancellations today that are currently in the system to be processed as well as double digit diversions currently in process. In response, Inflight Crew Scheduling continues to work cancellations chronologically and Crew Scheduling Personnel have been held over to assist with the cleanup in the aftermath of this adverse weather.

Call wait times are high. In many cities, hotel rooms are scarce.  While the company has indicated hotel rooms will be assigned once pairings have been updated, if you are approaching the end of your maximum duty day, we encourage you to take any opportunity to secure lodging through our self-help process.

From a coverage perspective, the company reports that Reserve resources remain tight and various incentives in the form of white/purple flag are being offered in DEN, LAX, LAS, EWR, ORD, and IAD.  There is no denying that Flight Attendants play a crucial role in the operation of our airline.  And, for us to be able to do our jobs effectively and well, we must prioritize our well-being and ensure decisions are made that promote rest. Your Union leadership has been in contact with management throughout the day to continue to advocate for your best interests.

While we continue to press management to do all possible in accommodating Flight Attendants’ return to base, we also recognize that the weather events preventing the challenges are, in some cases, unexpected and beyond the company’s control.

In times where we are faced with challenges, as Union leaders, we have a dual responsibility; that is, to advocate fiercely for the well-being our Members while, at the same time, recognizing the importance of mutual cooperation.  The work on the aircraft is our work and, as a vital component in the airlines ability to operate, we are charged with finding a way to support our Members who support the operation of the airline.

Today, the Company and AFA-CWA (Association of Flight Attendants - CWA) through a series of day long conversations, have detailed an understanding intended to provide the resources to operate the airline while simultaneously prioritizing the well-being of and support of those who require rest.

Under the terms of our Contract, United management has the contractual ability, at their discretion, to incentivize Flight Attendant through the use of White & Purple flag pay.  Recognizing the demand for Flight Attendants in the ability to operate, if White or Purple Flag pay is offered, and a Flight Attendant chooses to pick up and operates a pairing designated as White or Purple Flag, from today, June 27, 2023 until July 6, 2023, they will receive 300% pay instead of the usual 150% pay.

By reaching this Agreement, our aim is to navigate through these challenging times while upholding the highest standards of safety and service. Please share this information with your fellow flying partners, emphasizing the importance of unity and our collective efforts during these irregular operations. If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact your Local Council Office.


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