Quality of service has been declining, and something desperately needs to be done.

United Airlines Airplanes at LGA
Photo: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

The consensus revolving around encouraging staff to report poor service typically comes as a request from the management side of any company, but for United Airlines’ flight attendants, it’s the union that is calling upon the flight attendants to self-report any incidents of slow or poor service that left passengers dissatisfied.

Increasing worries about declining service quality

If you thought you misread anything, you certainly didn’t. The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA) recently sent a memo to the United Airlines flight attendant union members, highlighting concerns that service quality could be drastically dropping as their workload gradually increases with the summer schedules beginning.

The union also highlights that the dip in service quality is unfortunately due to the reduced staffing levels and elimination of certain positions, which ultimately results in longer waiting times for passengers when receiving their meals, drinks, or any other service requests. And with longer waiting times comes increased frustration among passengers, which still reflects poorly on the flight attendants.

United Airlines Boeing 767

Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

While acknowledging how challenging it is for flight attendants to maintain the best service quality during adverse situations, the union claims that it is best if the flight attendants constructively provide feedback about the obstacles they encounter when providing a service that leaves passengers unsatisfied. The memo said:

Therefore, it is important for crew members to provide detailed, specific information on how the staffing and recent increased service changes have adversely impacted passenger safety and service. This can help our Union assess the impact of the changes and take appropriate action to address with the company any safety or service concerns.”

What the union is essentially asking is that flight attendants report any incidents that resulted in passengers being upset or incidents that could have endangered the safety of passengers. The union also wants specific details about what challenges were faced by the flight attendants that led to such incidents happening and what changes could have been made to prevent or reduce the likelihood of it happening.

United Airlines Flight Attendants

Photo: Lukas Souza | Simple Flying

Turning the tables on United Airlines

Although the union encourages United Airlines’ flight attendants to improve service quality and allow their concerns to be heard for improved working conditions, it’s also the union’s way of subtly telling United Airlines about the genuine need to add more flight attendants on flights.

The union and United Airlines are currently in contract negotiations for the flight attendants, and this self-reporting initiative is very much related to that because, albeit bad service reflects poorly on the flight attendants, it also reflects just as poorly on the airline.

And the union hopes that with the self-reports from its own flight attendants, the airline will see that perhaps its time to stop the staffing cuts and instead increase the staffing levels onboard more than just selected flights – for the sake of better quality service and an overall reflection of the airline and flight attendants. The memo also said:

“We all want a return to a service we can be proud of and aligns with our mutual goal to be the best airline in the world. We need to provide that information and suggestions to advocate for the change that will realistically align the service with the goals that management has set to provide a premium experience to our passengers.”

View of airplanes from United Airlines (UA) at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)

Photo: EQRoy | Shutterstock

Bottom line

While it’s quite an unusual initiative from a union, encouraging flight attendants to speak out proactively in such a self-reporting manner would certainly make the union’s engagement with United Airlines much more constructive, significantly regarding contract negotiations.

What do you think of this initiative? Share with us in the comments below.

Source: Live And Let’s Fly

  • nPhoto: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying”” data-img-url=”https://static1.simpleflyingimages.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/United-Airlines-Boeing-777-300(ER)–1.jpg” data-modal-container-id=”single-image-modal-container” data-modal-id=”single-image-modal”>


    Even United Airlines had flights canceled and delayed this weekend, although not as much as others.

    Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

    United Airlines

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Denver International Airport, Guam International Airport, Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport

    Year Founded:

    Star Alliance

    Scott Kirby

    United States

Source: simpleflying.com

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