Tuesday, December 28, 2021
Dear Philadelphia Flight Attendants,
As we close out another challenging year, I have been reflecting on the last twelve months. Travel demand returned faster than anyone imagined, while we are still living with the effects of the pandemic and new variants of COVID-19. In October we said goodbye to those Flight Attendants who accepted the VEOP and retired. All the long-term EVLOAs were cancelled as of December 1st, and everyone is back on the property.
This past year has been a struggle, and I couldn’t be prouder to lead this base. PHL rose to the challenge. Our Flight Attendants maintained integrity and professionalism in the face of air rage and other events happening onboard our flights, yet you continued to show up and provide exceptional customer service. Our absenteeism holds steady as one of the best among the large crew bases.
We were welcomed back by old friends by way of IPD destinations we have not seen in what seems like forever- AMS, ATH, DUB, LHR, and ZRH. The company has stated every wide-body aircraft in the AA fleet will be operating long-haul international destinations by next summer. We are hopeful those destinations that are loaded into the schedule for April will hold, but we all know that can change rapidly based on the destination requirements and demand.
I would like to share the base leadership stats over the past year- it has been busy! We have represented Flight Attendants in nearly 300 meetings with their FSM’s. We have filed 43 Notice of Disputes (NODs) to date for Flight Attendants, and currently only have five open cases to be heard. We have communicated with you by putting out approximately 40 PHL base briefs.
With the help of BCR John Pratt and National Secretary and PHL Flight Attendant Joshua Black, we held our first-ever virtual town hall specific to Reserve bidding in PBS to assist our newly hired Fight Attendants and those who would like a refresher. Now that we have used this platform and have some experience with it, we look forward to utilizing a virtual forum in the future for other training and base-specific events.
PHL also welcomed close to 200 new Flight Attendants to our base from the first six classes. The company has announced they are continuing to hire in 2022. The return of those on long-term leaves and the addition of new hires are a good thing- it’s a good sign that the travel industry and American Airlines are on the road to recovery. We all know this has been a long road, and we are still navigating this road, but we have to hope that 2022 will be a better year than 2021.
Thank you for all you have done all year to return American to profitability.
On behalf of Tracey, Dan, and 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. Please continue to keep yourself and your family safe during this holiday season.
APFA PHL Base President