No, American Airlines Flight Attendants Won’t Be Cleaning Cabins, Says APFA

Apr 20, 2019

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Despite rumors that American Airlines flight attendants could be required to start cleaning aircraft cabins between flights, with the change going into effect as early as May, APFA National President Lori Bassani confirms to TPG that the news is not true. The elimination of third-party cleaning crews could be seen as a a way to get the company closer to its profit goals, or closer to the elusive on-time departure by cutting down on the time spent waiting for a separate cleaning crew to show up and prep aircraft between flights.

The initial confusion may have stemmed from an agreement back in October of 2018 that finalized the merger of US Airways legacy flight attendants and American Airlines flight attendants into a single group, six years after the initial merger of the airlines. Provisions in that agreement would have required all flight attendants to clear the cabin of papers, straighten seat belts, remove any visible items from seat pockets that may have been left behind, and return any blankets or pillows to the overhead bins.

A spokesperson for AA told the Chicago Business Journal that AA had no plans to implement the cabin cleaning requirements outlined in the agreement. “We have had no discussions internally or with the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) about it,” the AA spokesperson confirmed.

Bassani also confirmed in an email to TPG that cabin crews will not be adding to their list of duties anytime soon. “AA Flight Attendants will not have to take on the task of cleaning aircraft (originally set for May) and there are no plans by AA to implement this task in the future,” Bassani said. “The Union will address cabin cleaning duties in the contract as we believe cleaning of the aircraft is not the responsibility of our work group.”

These statements seem to clear up any doubt — or quash any rumors —  about flight attendants assuming the role of cleaning crew along with their regular duties. Bassani said the APFA would be sending out an official hotline on the issue soon.

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Featured photo by Josh Noel/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images

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