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3.21.24 – APFA CLT Base Brief – Safety Reports Update

Safety Reports Update

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Each month, we comprise the numbers from the safety reports, look for patterns, and identify the largest threats to safety for our flight attendants. Different threats are more common at different times of the year. A good example is bird strikes. Bird strikes are more prevalent during the spring and fall migration times. Turbulence events happen more often in peak summer months due to thunderstorms and in January and February due to large winter storms. More turbulence events can affect certain parts of the country due to hurricane season or a localized El Nino.

We can see the patterns of increased disruptive passengers and the relation to alcohol consumption. We can see the increase in Fume Events during colder weather and the increases in mechanical issues when we run a larger schedule. Most of this is predictable for the front-line employees. We do the job every day, but management sometimes needs to see the metrics to understand the problems and take action to mitigate the risks to their employees. Lately, we are seeing more and more managers who don’t understand the issues and push corporate positions that are not germane to the season or the situation. Studying the events allows us to use the metrics to create a safer work environment.

Here is a breakdown of the events from last month and some critical observations on some of the issues of concern.

  • Fume Events for CLT: 10 (7 were on Airbus Aircraft. One aircraft was involved in 2 events.)
  • Flight Attendants involved in Fume Events: 62
  • Flight Attendants who sought medical attention: 21
  • Flight Attendants who tested positive for carbon monoxide: 0

The number of events is high. During the cold temperatures, we do see an increase in fume events. Why? One of our theories for this is filling lubricants on airplanes. Lubricants will expand when heated. If those lubricants are filled while the aircraft is cold, they will expand when the aircraft heats up. It becomes an overfill situation, and the excess can bleed into the cabin’s air system. The company does have steps to curtail this, but the data keeps pointing to the cold air theory as a problem.

One of the other factors is the heavy use of our aircraft running a full schedule. We are using our aircraft as much as possible to fill our schedule. Our aircraft have a delicate maintenance rotation where everyone is under a timeline to get and keep that airplane in the air. With maximum aircraft usage, the miles and hours are building up on each aircraft. The systems are vulnerable to failures as designed, which would equate to an expected increase in events. Our concern is how the company handles failures when they happen. The response is lacking at best as we continue to see the company trying to keep the aircraft in service with minimal attention to addressing the breakdown.

If you encounter a cabin air incident, follow the guidelines outlined in the IFM and contact the APFA. You can call us locally at 704-665-7474 or the  APFA National Safety number to report the event at 817-357-8786, option 2.

  • Number of passengers ill on Charlotte aircraft: 44
  • Passenger Misconduct: 26
    • Intoxication: 11
    • Smoking: 7
    • Removed from Aircraft: 11
    • Videotaping Crew: 2
    • Miscellaneous: 6
  • Non-Rev Misconduct: 3
  • Passenger Injuries: 6
  • Flight Attendant Injuries (Non-Fume): 2
  • Flight Attendants Ill (Non fume): 7
  • Turbulence Events: 23
  • Injuries: 1 (Crew member)
  • Mechanical Issues after takeoff: 2 (No cabin Preps performed)
  • Passenger Lost / Damaged / Stolen Property: 1
  • Security Concerns: 3
  • Sexual Misconduct: 1
  • Slide Deployments: 0
  • Hotel Security Issues: 3
  • Level 1 security threats on Crewmembers: 4
  • Passenger Deaths: 1

As you can see, we face many safety concerns when we come to work. The company needs to communicate more effectively with the Union when events happen. If you have an emergency event, we need to hear about it directly so we can assist you with the help you need. We have set up an APFA Critical Incident Hotline where you can call, select the type of emergency you are experiencing, enter your information, and we will call you back.

We often do not get an event notification until long after the event. Notifying us when a situation unfolds is crucial to getting your response. Please save this number into your phone.

Assaults on crew members are still happening. Passengers have grab-and-go liquor in our airports, medical emergencies happen every day, and turbulence is a real danger. Despite the company’s propensity for customer service over safety, we must remain vigilant and follow safety protocols. Numerous Flight Attendants are injured yearly, even when following safety procedures. There are risks associated with our jobs and the nature of our profession, and the best way to mitigate those risks is to adhere to a safe culture. Safety has to be job one, both for us and our passengers.
Take care of yourselves and each other.

The Charlotte APFA Team

In Solidarity,

Scott Hazlewood
APFA CLT Base President
[email protected]

APFA Headquarters
1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

M-F: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Call APFA

Contract & Scheduling Desk
M-F: 7:00AM - 7:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Chat APFA

After-Hours Live Chat
M-F: 3:00PM - 11:00 PM (CT)
Sat-Sun: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)

APFA Headquarters
1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

M-F: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Call APFA

Contract & Scheduling Desk
M-F: 7:00AM - 7:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Chat APFA

After-Hours Live Chat
M-F: 3:00PM - 11:00 PM (CT)
Sat-Sun: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)

APFA Headquarters
1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

M-F: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Call APFA

Contract & Scheduling Desk
M-F: 7:00AM - 7:00PM (CT)
Phone: (817) 540-0108

Chat APFA

After-Hours Live Chat
M-F: 3:00PM - 11:00 PM (CT)
Sat-Sun: 9:00AM - 5:00PM (CT)

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