I’ve got to hand it to the flight attendants at American Airlines who found a clever new use of their jump seat harnesses to create a barrier to keep passengers out of the rear galley. The only problem? Such action blocks egress to the rear emergency exit door, a safety violation that warrants immediate corrective action from American Airlines.
American Airlines Flight Attendants Create Seatbelt Barrier In Rear Galley
On October 29, 2023, a passenger snapped the following picture and video on AA2804 from Dallas – Fort Worth (DFW) to Toronto (YYZ).
Hey @AmericanAir. Do @FAANews, @FAASafetyBrief, @USDOT, and @Transport_gc allow your crews to block off access to rear exits DURING flight so your FA’s can sit and chat ? Seatbelt harnesses connected together. AA2804 DFW-YYZ, 29 Oct 2023. #safetyfail, #clueless, #infuriating pic.twitter.com/iGJ1KUVJaj
— Lori Soler (@lorikaycan) October 31, 2023
From the images, it appears that flight attendants took the seat belts on their jump seats and fastened them together to create a barrier restricting customers from entering the rear galley (and thereby bothering flight attendants who sat chatting).
This contraption runs afoul of federal regulations: imagine if there was a sudden depressurization event that led to an evacuation. There may not have been time to take down the barrier or the flight attendants may have become incapacitated and passengers would have been trapped. Every second may be the difference between life and death.
Their selfish stunt could have lost lives.
Let’s be clear – I think most flight attendants at American Airlines would never dream of doing something like this. Instead, most are simply trying to do their job in the best way they can with the resources they have been given.
Yet there is a subset of flight attendants (and in my experience, on American Airlines in particular) who do not like customers and who engage in this sort of behavior even though it is antithetical to the service levels American Airlines seeks to offer its onboard guests.
Even if it was “legal” this behavior was bad…it is anti-customer and shows a certain disdain that marks labor relations at American Airlines right now.
The backdrop of course is that flight attendants are bracing for a strike during the holiday season in response to the failure to agree upon a new contract. Flight attendants want more money and this will be felt by passengers, even if this particular stunt is not repeated.
The flight attendants on AA2804 may have thought they were being clever, but instead should receive harsh reprimand and retraining for their foolish decision to endanger the lives of others over a desire not to be bothered. It’s time for American Airlines to get back to the basics and remind flight attendants what good service is.