5.16.17 – (LAA/LUS) – APFA Celebrates its 40th Anniversary

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

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Today marks APFA’s 40th anniversary as the collective bargaining unit of American Airlines Flight Attendants. APFA’s rich history began in 1977 when members voted to become wholly independent after being represented by TWU Local 552. Since that time, APFA has been at the forefront of issues affecting Flight Attendant careers and is proud to now represent over 26,000 members.

Since 2005, the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) has maintained the permanent archived collection of APFA’s documents in their climate controlled facility along with many other labor union collections that make up their Texas Labor Archives. As we celebrate our 40th anniversary, Flight Attendants are invited to visit the main university library to view the special Walking the LineLabor Union exhibit that runs through December 29th and features a small collection of past AA Flight Attendant uniforms & memorabilia. We also invite our members to take a walk down memory lane by accessing some of our own archived photos on the APFA website.

To help us commemorate the day, we hosted New Hire Class 17-16  at APFA Headquarters in Euless where our soon to be newest members got a chance to meet with National Officers, Department Chairs & Specialists, as well as our dedicated office staff who are also unionized and work diligently behind the scenes to keeps things running smoothly. 

They also met some of the contract & scheduling reps who work the phone lines answering questions daily and assisting members to better understand their contracts in order to prevent potential contract violations.


At our weekly new-hire presentations, Flight Attendants are often surprised to learn that very few would qualify for the job they know today had it not been for the hard fought battles by organized labor. Being forced to stop flying before age 32, being unable to get married, undergoing discriminatory weight checks, or even having to double up with coworkers in layovers hotels, are unimaginable to many of our newest members, yet without the advances made by dedicated unionists throughout history, the profession we know today would not exist. 


APFA and the profession have come along way since 1977 due the efforts of many hardworking activists and union representatives, but the work is never done.

As we celebrate our past, the most important part of our journey lies ahead. As the largest independent Flight Attendant union in the world, our power lies in our numbers. But, those numbers mean nothing without a commitment by every member to stand together in solidarity. As we look to the future, take some time to reach out to a new hire and mentor them on the importance of unity. Our past is proof positive that our future depends on it.



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