United Airlines is cracking down on flight attendants who use their own personal devices onboard, warning of discipline including job termination for those who do not abide by the rule prohibiting the use of such devices when seated in a jumpseat.
United Airlines To Flight Attendants: No Personal Devices In Jumpseat
In a memo to flight attendants shared with Live And Let’s Fly by several flight attendants, United has reminded its cabin crew that it is “required” to offer “visible and attentive service to customers.”
“Neither is possible if a flight attendant is using a personal electronic device onboard.”
The memo warns that using a personal mobile phone in the jumpseat can lead to:
- missing an onboard security incident
- causing personal injury or injury to a jumpseat partner on landing if not properly braced
- an inadvertent slide deployment if the personal device is held during the disarming of aircraft doors
In terms of service, the memo asks:
“Customers look to flight attendants for great service. How comfortable would you be asking someone for help if they were engrossed in their cell phone? What impression would that give you?…Even in public, you should always remain approachable in uniform and display courtesy to customers and other employees.”
Consequently, the following rule is emphasized:
Use of a personal electronic device and/or accessories is not permitted while customers are on board the aircraft, with the exception of crew rest.
And for those who do not follow this rule? Discipline, up to and including termination.
“Any crewmember found in violation will be subject to performance discipline up to and including termination.”
For better or for worse, we live in a world in which people are glued to their mobile phones. On the street. In restaurants. On trains. Certainly on aircraft, too. And in my experience, this is true for flight attendants too.
United is right to note both the safety concern and the unprofessionalism of a flight attendant glued to a mobile phone. Even during breaks, it is simply not professional for a FA to be engrossed in a phone.
Note, this rule does not apply to United-issued iPhones given to flight attendants to conduct service onbaord and communicate between crew members.
United Airlines has reminded its flight attendants that personal devices are not allowed onboard, unless in a crew rest area. A failure to abide by these rules may result in termination.
The harsh punishment for failing to abide by the rules suggests the seriousness of this problem. As a frequent United flyer, it will be interesting to see if there will be less use of personal mobile phones going forward with the threat of discipline now clearly laid out.
image: United Airlines