Early Tuesday morning, flight attendants represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) held signs and picketed outside of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.
Local president, Melinda Beal, said, “We hear the passengers loud and clear because their frustrations are also our frustrations.”
Beal explained that when flights are canceled or delayed attendants are left in limbo. She said, they often spend hours on the phone trying to learn their next flight schedule or hotel arrangments.
“As we are sitting on the phone on hold, we could have been staffing flights, so flights are not going out because they are not staffed properly,” explained Beal.
According to FlightAware, United Airlines has delayed 67,485 flights and canceled 6,780 flights since May 1, 2022.
In August, Forbes found Cleveland Hopkins Airport to be among the “10 Worst U.S. Airports For Flight Cancellations And Delays This Week.”
The union said in a press release, “Aviation can be disrupted for reasons outside the airline’s control, but good management understands this and builds an operation that can adapt and recover from disruption.”
The union said, they have “offered solutions to these problems, but management has yet to acknowledge there is a problem.”
That’s why they say they are making their message public.
“United management keeps expecting Flight Attendants ‘to make it work.’ Meanwhile, management blames others – air traffic control, Flight Attendants, Pilots – but themselves for operational issues,” said the union.
United Airlines responded with the following comment to FOX 8:
“We’ve worked hard to reduce wait times for flight attendants to talk to a crew scheduler, including more hiring and adding digital options for some items.“