5 minutes? Time is money.

By now you’ve probably read—or heard—about the latest unilateral change Delta management is forcing on Flight Attendants.

As the airline moves to use more high density narrow body (HDNB) jets, they’ve added five minutes to boarding time for Flight Attendants. Management says this is just a “test” at some ATL gates. Whether they roll this change out more broadly or not, it’s just another reminder that management has unilateral power to change our working conditions and duties until we lock in a union contract.

When work rules change, we should have a say. We can, with a union and a contract. Sign a card and let’s form our Flight Attendant union at Delta.

No doubt, management will say five minutes is no big deal. But it’s five extra minutes on every leg that Flight Attendants won’t be compensated for, and five minutes that could make a difference in getting something to eat, a few extra minutes for nursing mothers to pump at work, or just catch a breath and make sure the airplane is in order before we board. If you fly two trips originating from ATL per week, that’s 10 minutes a week, 40 plus minutes a month, or more than 8 hours per year. Management is stealing our time, our money, and our ability to even get ready to do our jobs.

Management has been on a tear lately. The unilateral $200 healthcare surcharge. No raises since 2019, while doling out "adjustment" to management only. Now this.

Management couldn’t pull this move if we had our Flight Attendant union to back us up and a contract to hold them accountable. Management would have to negotiate with us to make changes in working rules or conditions.

Under our United AFA contract, check-in times are written in black and white. Management can change check-in times up to 15 minutes by following the procedures as outlined in the contract, but they must compensate Flight Attendants for the change in report time. Often that extra compensation is just enough to hold them off from making the change. The United AFA contract states: “If the scheduled home base check-in time for an aircraft is increased over the time listed in Paragraph R.2. above, all Flight Attendants who check-in pursuant to the increased time shall receive $5.00 pay for every five minute (0:05) increase over the time listed in Paragraph R.2. This pay will not be offset by other pay factors.” If management wants or needs to increase check-in times beyond 15 minutes, they must negotiate with our union.

For example during the pandemic, AFA negotiated with United management over early report times for pre-departure COVID testing required for certain destinations. United Flight Attendants get paid when required to report early for pre-departure COVID testing, ranging from $60-$150/early report for COVID testing.

Delta Flight Attendants should earn at LEAST that and not be required to check-in at the lounge.

It's also important to recognize that change often occurs over time. If we think "it's only 5 minutes" this time, they know they can get away with it the next time. Having a contract with protections in black and white also allows us to track any changes over time and capture the value of those changes before little changes roll into big changes with no compensation or consideration for Flight Attendants at all.

Let’s come together to stand up for ourselves and for the respect we’ve earned. Sign a card today and let’s secure a legally-binding contract to ensure we’re respected at Delta.

In Solidarity,
Delta AFA

P.S. RSVP for the Next Delta AFA Town Hall on Hidden Costs for Delta Flight Attendants

Management has typically kept our hourly pay on par with the pay scales at the unionized airlines, like United and American, in an effort to keep us from unionizing. While top line compensation like hourly pay may look the same or even a little better at the top step, there are many areas where we fall behind such as trip construction, sit pay, healthcare, and many other hidden costs and missed compensation for us at Delta.

Airline Economist Dan Akins and AFA President Sara Nelson will join the town hall to lay out the numbers.

RSVP for the upcoming town hall on Monday, October 25th at 6pm ET!