Delta Air Lines, which is facing yet another effort to unionize its flight attendants, will start paying cabin staff while boarding, a first for a major American airline.
Hourly compensation for flight attendants begins when all passengers are seated and the plane’s doors close across the United States’ airline sector.
Delta has announced that the change will take effect on June 2nd for all flights.
Delta’s senior vice president of in-flight service, Kristen Manion Taylor, said in a message to flight attendants that the higher salary “further emphasizes how vital your job on board is to ensuring a pleasant, safe, and on-time start to each trip.”
During boarding, you will be paid 50% of your normal income.
Delta wants to lengthen the boarding time for single-aisle or “narrow-body” planes from 35 minutes to 40 minutes, which the airline hopes would result in a higher percentage of flights departing on time.
Manion Taylor stated that following a test last autumn and receiving feedback from flight attendants, she agreed not to implement the increased boarding hours unless the cabin employees were paid more.
The higher boarding compensation will be in addition to the 4% increases for flight attendants that Delta announced in March and that will take effect later this week.
Delta Airlines, located in Atlanta, has successfully fought off multiple attempts to organize its 20,000 flight attendants. The boarding pay was credited to the Association of Flight Attendants, which has been revving up its current organizing campaign at Delta for more than two years but has not yet garnered enough support to compel a vote.
The union noted in a statement on its website that “this new policy is the direct outcome of our efforts.” “Management is growing worried as we approach closer to filing for our union vote.”
Flight attendants at United, Alaska, Spirit, and a dozen other smaller airlines are represented by the union. None of those airlines, according to Delta, compensate their cabin employees for boarding time.
According to a regulatory filing, unions represent between 82 percent and 86 percent of workers at American, United, and Southwest, but only 20 percent of Delta’s 83,000 employees. The Air Line Pilots Association represents Delta’s 13,000 pilots. Flight attendants of Delta’s regional-flying subsidiary, Endeavor Air, are unionized.