Air hostesses union attacks Delta for boarding fees

A few days ago, Delta announced That they would start paying flight attendants during boarding, which is (surprisingly) otherwise not standard practice in the US airline industry. United’s hosts association has now responded to this development with some rather outlandish claims.

Delta flight attendant salary

Historically flight attendants in the United States Not paid while boardingYou only start making money as soon as you close the plane door. Delta is the first major US airline to change this:

  • Delta has announced that it will start paying flight attendants for the designated boarding period of 40 to 50 minutes, at half the standard hourly rates.
  • Delta is the only major US airline where flight attendants have not been standardized, although over the years there have been many union efforts
  • Obviously, Delta leading the way here was an attempt by management to keep flight attendants happy and encourage flight attendants not to join unions.

Before going into what the United Flight Attendants Guild has to offer, let me point out the following:

  • I am pro-union, meaning that I believe that flight attendants should be allowed to unite if they want to, without being intimidated
  • I don’t necessarily think that unionization is a good thing and that not joining unions is a bad thing, or vice versa; Objectively speaking, Delta flight attendants are on the whole in a better place than the flight attendants of most other major US airlines, and they provide significantly better service.

With that in mind, let’s get into what United’s hosts association claims.

Delta flight attendants will now be paid while boarding

The United Flight Attendants Association responds to Delta

The flight attendant unions are clearly under pressure, as they have not been able to negotiate boarding fare, while Delta flight attendants are now being offered to proactively do so. So the Flight Attendant Association (AFA), which represents United Airlines employees, has put a note For members about developing Delta.

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Presumably some members are wondering why they are paying dues when the union can’t even get what Delta proactively provides for flight attendants.

The memo acknowledges that boarding fare is a good thing, and that all flight attendants should have boarding fare.

The union begins by claiming that accommodation pay has been a priority for at least 20 years, but since 9/11, “the union has consumed the conflicting management at the negotiating table to preserve what we previously accomplished during the negotiations.”

Basically claiming “Well, we haven’t really been able to do anything in 20 years” doesn’t sound like a solid argument in favor of unions. This is especially true because delta flight attendants are in a better position than united flight attendants.

The union then attempts to plot the “rest of the story” that includes the following:

  • “This announcement is shrouded in the fact that the Delta administration has increased the boarding time of passengers from 35 to 40 minutes, and this announcement is their attempt to manipulate the angry reaction that it deserves from the flight attendants.”
  • “This decision is undoubtedly related to AFA’s ongoing efforts to organize the Delta Flight Attendant”
  • “While Delta continues to add additional services, it has failed to restore staffing to pre-pandemic levels on board aircraft.”
  • “This initiative appears designed to divert attention from the fact that Delta will require all flight attendants to wear a uniform that has made them ill, an initiative the AFA is striving against as our collective work to set standards continues.”
  • “In the absence of a contract, there is no obligation to fix this wage factor for Delta Air hostesses”
  • “It is a stark reminder that Delta Management, in the same way it has been implemented, has the ability to unilaterally terminate boarding fare, in its sole discretion.”
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This argument is simply ubiquitous. from where we start?

  • I’m sure most delta flight attendants wouldn’t mind increasing their boarding time by five minutes if that means they’re paying for the entire boarding time
  • The AFA is right to link this to attempts to standardize delta hosts, although that’s on the only exact and relevant point here.
  • In terms of Delta staffing levels, almost all US airlines operate domestic flights at the minimum legally required, so that’s a really fine point.
  • I’m not sure what the uniform has to do with the boarding fee, but the AFC is well aware here
  • True, there is no obligation that Delta management won’t back down, but similarly, if Delta Management back off, wouldn’t that kill the whole point of this, which is to keep flight attendants happy and prevent them from forming unions?

Everything gives positive feedback “but emails”.

United says Delta’s in-house pay is good, but…


Flight attendants must be paid during boarding, plain and simple. Delta has become the first major US airline to start doing this, and that’s great news. While Delta flight attendants are not unions, the major airline unions should thank Delta here, because Delta’s move gives them a lot of leverage.

It is clear that unions are having difficulty justifying their value to members in light of this development. As a result, United’s flight attendant union is attacking Delta for increasing boarding time by five minutes, and all sorts of unrelated things, like uniforms and staffing levels.

What do you think of the flight attendants’ union’s response to Delta’s boarding fare?

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(tip of the hat for View from the wing)

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