IROPs Shouldn't Cancel Pay and Work Rules

Last week, we dealt with flight cancellations and delays due to the huge winter storm that hit the East Coast. Unfortunately, Delta management took it as an opportunity to "cancel" our pay and work rules because we do not have a contract to protect us, our pay and our work rules.


Management has used the claim of “irregular operations” to justify its inconsistent treatment of us as Flight Attendants. This is the airline industry and irregular ops are part of the job, this is why we need a contract, so we are protected and there’s a detailed plan in place for Flight Attendants and management when IROPs happen. A contract is good for Flight Attendants and for the company.

At United, Flight Attendants have pay guarantees in case their flights cancel or change.  United Flight Attendants also have monthly pay guarantees for times of longer term affected schedules…a worldwide pandemic for example.

United Flight Attendants also have clear contractual reassignment rules for when a flight cancels.  At Delta, we become “time available" and are forced to sit available 24/7 for the length of the trip to get paid, versus being assigned to specific trip the night before or getting released with pay.  This means if management transitions you from a high-value trip to a lower value trip, we will make less money through no fault of our own and/or be forced to sit available for hours or days on end in order to make enough.


Our Flight Attendant Union will mean better pay, improved benefits and work rules that can’t change just because management claims an IROP and changes the rules. Our Flight Attendant Union will mean the opportunity to sit at the table with management with a legally certified voice in our workplace. With our Flight Attendant Union come the dignity, respect, compensation and work rules we merit!

Delta Irregular Operations (IROPs)

UA Severe Weather Action Plan (SWAP)

  • All scheduling work rules can be suspended
  • AVL can be made mandatory
  • Can be returned to base on a trip up to 4 hours past original trip termination
  • Assignment not required to match any aspect of original trip
  • Assignment that terminates +4 hours later than original trip only an extra 4 hours pay at applicable rate of pay is due, with no restoration of days off
  • Contract must be followed, including all rest and duty contractual parameters
  • Specific order of assignment at base and downline
  • To extent possible, trip assigned must match the trip lost
  • Number of options presented to the Flight Attendant
  • Pay for reassignment is extra dollars per hour if return time exceeds 4 hours later than original
  • Time and half paid for all block hours if Flight Attendant agrees to waive a day off violation
  • If Company assigned trip exceeds original days of duty, extra dollars added to hourly rate and an additional 4 hours pay and credit is earned
  • Provisions for at base hotel room


A Delta Flight Attendant is NYC-based. There is bad weather in the Eastern Corridor. Delta has declared a severe weather operation is in effect. Flight Attendant Kelly’s  2-day trip canceled. Scheduling has advised Kelly they are on Mandatory AVL. Kelly is now assigned a 3-day trip that flies into their day off but returns to base less than 24 hours later than the original trip.

This trip on Day 1 exceeds Delta’s rescheduled duty limitations. However, Kelly is informed there is no opt off during this IROP. Additionally, your rest on Day 1 is now 9 hours release to report. The remaining duty periods and rest fall within Delta guidelines. For the extra day worked Kelly will receive only an additional 4hours of pay at their applicable rate.


A EWR-based United Flight Attendant, Dale’s trip canceled due to the weather. Any replacement flying cannot interfere with scheduled days off without a Flight Attendant’s consent. Dale agrees to an assignment that terminates on a scheduled day off. Since Dale agreed to be flown into his day off, he will be paid 150% pay for all block hours flown in each scheduled day off for the reassignment. Additionally Dale will receive his day off restored later in the month as guaranteed in the United Airlines AFA Contract. All of Dale's contractual duty and rest contract provisions remain steadfast.


And commuting during a pandemic PLUS irregular ops? Good luck. We need more than just positive space for commuters. We need a comprehensive Flight Attendant commuter policy. Read more about the AFA-negotiated commuter policies at airlines across the industry >

Do you want an improved quality of work-life even during IROPs? Connect with our Flight Attendant Union campaign at Delta today!