APFA issued this statement:
Julie Hedrick, National President of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) issued the following statement regarding the safety of American Airlines Flight Attendants following the recent violence in Washington, D.C.:
“This week, we witnessed an outbreak of violence at the U.S. Capitol, forcing an evacuation while lawmakers were attempting to certify the electoral college vote count. We also experienced multiple incidents on various flights headed to Washington, D.C. During these incidents, some of which broadcasted over social media, Flight Attendants were forced to confront passengers exhibiting politically motivated aggression towards other passengers and crew. This behavior is unacceptable, and Flight Attendants should not have to deal with these egregious incidents.
It is disturbing to see these acts of aggression towards other passengers and Flight Attendants continue. Yesterday, racial epithets were hurled towards a Black Flight Attendant as they rode to the DCA airport in the hotel shuttle. On another flight, a group of passengers removed their masks after takeoff and harassed the Flight Attendants and other passengers throughout the flight, up to and including the deplaning process. These are just two examples of too many we have seen on flights this week. This behavior is dangerous and threatening.
We are well-trained safety professionals, we are essential workers, and we have clear and concise rules when dealing with a disruptive passenger. We should not have to deal with a group of passengers harassing other passengers and crew, whether through chanting, yelling, or physical altercation. We see compliance on the ground, but after takeoff, the story sometimes changes.
To say I am worried about our Flight Attendants’ safety is an understatement.
APFA has begun work in tandem with other Flight Attendant Unions, lawmakers, and regulatory agencies in Washington, D.C. to enhance safety and make sure that anyone displaying threatening or abusive behavior will not be allowed to board our aircraft now or in the future.
This is not who we are as Americans. The abuse, divisiveness, anger, and harassment must stop.”