Barely a year after Seattle became a base for flight attendants, United Airlines ceased operations, giving crews the choice of relocating or overcoming multi-day routes.
None of the 141 flight attendants in United Seattle will lose their jobs during the closing, which was announced last month and will take effect on May 1, said United, which is headquartered in Chicago. The airline blamed the closure in part on higher-than-expected costs for the Seattle operation.
But flight attendants and union officials say the decision will force many escorts to either move to other bases in the United States, such as Denver, Houston or Newark, to New Jersey, or to travel to their new base cities for a few days a week.
“If you’re on a two-day trip, you have not gone for four days, if not five, if not even longer,” said Dusty Cannon, 49, of the Seattle United Flight Attendant Association (AFA). : ) a member who lives in Spokane և is reassigned to an airline base in San Francisco.
This is the second time Cannon այլ other United Seattle-based players have lost their base here.
In 2015, United closed the Seattle base, allowing 264 pilots to move to San Francisco. The company, which reportedly lost its Seattle-based business to a Delta rival, said in a 2014 statement that it “simply does not make economic sense” to operate the Seattle base.
This time, United cited the costs of both the epidemic and the Seattle operation, one of the seven satellite stations of United has been open since 2019.
U.S. officials said in a February 4 memo to employees that a large number of sick days reported by flight attendants in Seattle required the airline to bring in replacement personnel from other cities at significant cost.
“The financial benefits of maintaining a satellite base are lost when we make costly decisions, such as traveling with flight attendants from other places,” reads a memo from Son Slater, United Senior Vice President of Flight Services, provided to The Times by The Seattle The airline.
United said days of illness were one of several indicators used to assess the viability of satellite bases. Other metrics included customer satisfaction, cancellations և timely execution.
United has not announced plans to close its six other satellite bases in Austin, Texas; Florida Fort Lauderdale և Orlando; Pyunik շարունակում San Diego “But we continue to value every base,” said United spokeswoman Leslie Scott.
Although the Seattle-based flight attendants will be relocated to the cities where they worked prior to the reopening of the Seattle base, the airline will not require any physical relocation, Scott said. He said that almost half of all United’s employees are already on the move.
Dante Harris, president of the AFA Seattle Council, said the changes posed additional challenges for flight attendants and their families, who were already facing “the worst epidemic of our generation”. He was also skeptical of United’s claims about sick days.
Cannon, who was her husband’s guardian and moved to San Francisco after Seattle closed in 2015, said she was “excited” when United announced that Seattle would open its base in 2020.
When he heard about the last closing, he said: “I am like holy wards … why do they do that to us?”
Harris said the union had asked United to at least delay the closure of Seattle until the autumn. “That’s not what we’re talking about,” Scott said.