Some United Flight Attendants Question Loose’ COVID-19 Protocols
A small group of United Airlines flight attendants are questioning the carrier’s protocols when it comes to colleagues who have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Reuters News Service .
Through a series of interviews with three unnamed flight attendants, as well as viewing comments in a private online chat group for United workers, Reuters found that the airline is telling some flight attendants whose colleagues test positive for the virus to keep flying and monitor themselves for symptoms.
“Most of us feel that’s unsafe,” said one of the three employees.
The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), which represents more than 50,000 members at 17 airlines, said it has received complaints from flight attendants at both United and Delta Air Lines about having to work with an infected colleague.
“We’ve received concerns about quarantine protocols from flight attendants across the industry from carriers we represent and where we’re organizing,” said AFA spokeswoman Taylor Garland. AFA said it averaged 50 positive tests a week in November among 25,000 active crew, up from an average of 10 per week over the summer.
United did not dispute the allegations and said it does follow Centers for Disease Control guidance, but admitted to telling some crew to self-monitor and continue working after a colleague tests positive for COVID-19.
“If a flight attendant or pilot meets the criteria, we ask them to quarantine. If not, they are instructed to self-monitor,” United spokeswoman Leslie Scott said.
Delta spokesman Morgan Durrant said: “As we have throughout this pandemic, we follow guidelines from the CDC and other health authorities to ensure that all Delta people quarantine if they have prolonged, close contact with a Covid-19 positive individual.”
United and Delta both said the safety and health of their customers and employees is their top priority and noted measures to combat the spread of COVID-19, including requiring masks and deeper cleaning.