Some American Flight Attendants, Pilots Forced to Sleep at Airport

July 30, 2021

American Airlines

American Airlines is being accused of not providing crew members with adequate lodging and transportation during layovers, depriving the pilots and flight attendants of rest. 

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants and Allied Pilots have filed grievances this week, stating that while travelling on the road, crews are experiencing hotel booking delays as well as transportation problems.

“We have Flight Attendants sleeping in airports and outside of baggage claim due to the company not providing hotel accommodations in a timely manner,” APFA National President Julie Hedrick said in a statement. “Crew rest is being impacted, and clean, comfortable, and quiet rooms are not being provided for required rest.”

In a statement by American Airlines, the carrier said they are investigating the assertions by the unions:

“Taking care of our crewmembers while they’re away from home is a priority for American,” the airline said.

Some American Flight Attendants Forced to Sleep on Cots at Airport

Some American Airlines’ flight attendants resorted to sleeping on cots at Glacier Park International Airport in Montana on July 17th after a series of delays left them with no choice but to stay for the night.

A typically overcrowded tourist destination, a union official said that there weren't enough available hotel rooms to house the crew. The crew was originally supposed to return home on the same day but had changed their plans due to the unexpected circumstance.

U.S. Carriers Adding Service to Smaller, Popular Travel Destinations...Where There is Little Available Lodging

American and other U.S. carriers have been taking advantage of the travel restrictions by adding service to smaller airports in order to capitalize on outdoor destinations. This has led car rentals and hotel room supply being hard-to-find or expensive at these locations this summer.

Tightly packed flight schedules and some crew shortages have worsened disruptions due to weather and other issues.

APFA said it has received complaints from crew members such as finding that no rooms are available when they get to a layover hotel and that they face “excessive” hold times for hotel booking services.

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