Flight attendant union calls for ‘federal plan of action’ at American airports amid coronavirus

Three of the biggest U.S. airlines — American Airlines (AAL), Delta Air Lines (DAL), and United Airlines (UAL) — are reportedly not mandating that passengers fully comply with new policy regarding wearing face masks on flights amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), a union representing 50,000 flight attendants at 19 different airlines, is calling for a more aggressive response.

“We need a federal plan of action to implement safety measures on masks, social distancing, cleaning, and more,” AFA President Sara Nelson said in a statement provided by Yahoo Finance. “Safety, health, and our entire economy is on the line. We need federal requirements that mitigate risk during this pandemic and put the safety of crew and the traveling public first.”

American Airlines, Delta, and United granted authority to employees to deny boarding at the gate for passengers not wearing a face mask, and the employees are allowed to provide masks to passengers who don’t have one. But if those passengers were to take off their masks upon entering the plane, airline employees are not authorized to make them put it back on. 

A flight attendant with a face mask welcomes passengers of a Boeing 747 of Lufthansa after landing at Frankfurt Airport. (Photo: Boris Roessler/picture alliance via Getty Images)

So far, seven flight attendants have died from coronavirus, and at least 250 members of the AFA have tested positive for the virus.

“Flight attendants, pilots, and airlines are responding to COVID-19 with increased safety measures, including requiring passengers and crew to wear masks,” Nelson added. “Airlines are implementing policies on the fly with essentially no coordination or direction from the federal government.”

Last month, Nelson penned an open letter to Congress requesting that masks be mandated in airports and on planes. She expressed displeasure with the latest news regarding these airlines.  Along with calling for mandated masks, the AFA also asked that Americans not fly for pleasure until the coronavirus is more contained.

Adriana is a reporter and editor for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @adrianambells.


Follow Yahoo Finance on TwitterFacebookInstagramFlipboardSmartNewsLinkedIn, YouTube, and reddit.

Source Article