Flight attendants fear about combating passengers over masks, union president says

Flight attendants worry about fighting passengers over masks, union president says

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Flight attendants imposing masks mandates onboard are fearful about bodily assaults from vacationers, Sara Nelson, worldwide president of the Association of Flight Attendants, advised CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday.

The Transportation Security Administration introduced Thursday it could double fines for passengers who refuse to adjust to the federal masks mandate for air journey. The union president stated the TSA’s up to date coverage may assist deal with extra mask-related conflicts within the airport, thereby decreasing points for flight attendants to deal with on the airplane.

“We’re concerned every single day when we go to work and put that uniform on, are we the target and going to be punched in the face today,” Nelson stated.

Flight attendants have lengthy been tasked with policing security guidelines and rules in flight, Nelson stated, however they’ve skilled an uptick in conflicts stemming from masks mandates. The Federal Aviation Administration stated July 7 that masks necessities comprised 75% of its unruly passenger complaints for the reason that begin of 2021.

Under the TSA’s revised charge construction for many who disobey masks mandates, first offenders will face a $500 superb. The company will levy a $3,000 penalty on anybody who violates the mandate greater than as soon as.

A flight attendant with United Airlines, takes half within the Crew Member Self-Defense Training Program in Chantilly, Va. In response to the uptick in flight incidents, US Air Marshals are actually providing self-defense courses for flight attendants.

Pete Marovich | The Washington Post | Getty Images

When requested whether or not she would assist a vaccine requirement for airline workers and passengers, Nelson stated that flight attendants “overwhelmingly” assist vaccine mandates. Nelson added that any vaccine mandate must embrace the union’s collaboration and the non secular and medical exemptions outlined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

United Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines mandated vaccines for his or her workers in August, whereas Frontier Airlines and Alaska Airlines have carried out Covid testing necessities for all unvaccinated personnel. Delta Air Lines has raised medical health insurance premiums by $200 and carried out weekly Covid testing for unvaccinated workers, and each Alaska Airlines and American Airlines stated they’d cease paying unvaccinated employees throughout their Covid quarantines.

“Everyone has got to be vaccinated, and that’s the only way that we’re going to end this pandemic,” Nelson stated. “That’s the only way we’re going to get back to the freedoms that we enjoyed before it started.”  

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