12.29.20 – APFA PHL Base Brief: Reflecting on 2020. A Look Forward to 2021

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Dear Philadelphia Flight Attendants,

At the end of every year, I try to write a year in review and paint a picture of things to look forward to in the upcoming year.

2020: A Year of Hardships and Resilience

First, I would like to acknowledge the professionalism, stamina, and courage our Flight Attendants have demonstrated during one of the most trying times in airline history. We saw the gutting of IPD flying in the wake of a global pandemic, alongside a drop in demand to almost nothing. We watched Flight Attendants make life-altering decisions to end their careers by taking an early out package. We fought to protect the jobs of all Flight Attendants by negotiating short-term and long-term leaves. Sadly, due to COVID-19, air travel demand continued to decline, and jobs were lost.

I want to acknowledge our furloughed Flight Attendants. Please know you were never far from our hearts, and getting you back to work as soon as possible was a top priority for APFA. We continued to advocate and put resources into extending the successful Payroll Support Program (PSP). Our work paid off- every furloughed Flight Attendant has received a recall ballot and will be returned to work and placed on payroll retroactively to December 1st. Throughout January and February, returning Flight Attendants will be going through the fingerprinting process, completing background checks, attending training if necessary, and picking up tablets and required items.

Thank you to those of you who took a short-term or long-term leave to help with the overage. To those who retired with a VEOP option, thank you for your years of service. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

I also want to acknowledge our PHL-based co-workers who have lost their lives to COVID-19. Near and dear to our hearts, Paul Frishkorn was the first Flight Attendant to pass from the virus. As most of you know, Paul was not only one of the best Union Reps we ever had but also a dear friend to me. He has left a void that will never be filled.

Former long time PHL-based Flight Attendant Glenn Reuben, who was finally able to transfer to MIA and no longer commute, passed due to the virus. Glenn was a stellar person and loved by all who knew him. He will be missed.

This year was challenging at our base as we lost too many of our beloved Flight Attendants to other various long- term and short-term illnesses. Our hearts are with their loved ones, and we will cherish their memories.

2021: A Look Forward

What is in store for us in 2021? The vaccine gives us great hope, and we look forward to the day that we will all feel safe, and travel demand will fully rebound. IPD flying will resume. As of now, we anticipate the resumption of twelve IPD destinations in the spring. We must keep the faith and keep moving forward.

How does that happen? It starts with us continuing to do what we do best- provide excellent customer service and continue to provide a safe and comfortable environment for our passengers. We must give them a reason to come back and fly with American again. It’s a struggle out there- we are dealing with dynamics that we have never seen before. We still have the most incredible job in the world, which is why we chose this profession. Things will get better.

Thank you for all you do every day to keep our airline moving. Please keep yourself and your family safe during this holiday season. On behalf of Tracey, myself, and those who volunteer to serve the members of the best base in the system, we wish you a very safe and Happy New Year.

We look forward to a better 2021.

Cheers,

Kim Kaswinkel
APFA PHL Base President

kkaswinkel@apfa.org

1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

Phone: (817) 540-0108
Fax: (817) 540-2077

 

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