When the phone rings at 3am

Tell me if this sounds familiar: You’re scheduled to work a turn at 8:30 PM. Your phone rings at 3AM. It’s a scheduler, who tells you your new report time is 6AM. Yes, in 3 hours.

For most people, that probably would sound crazy. So why are Delta Flight Attendants like us being treated this way?

This disrupts our lives, upends our plans, and it’s also a huge safety concern. Flight Attendants need to be well rested and ready to handle our duties—in the case of an emergency, a Flight Attendant’s presence of mind can mean the difference between life and death for ourselves, our flying partners and our passengers.

RSVP for the upcoming Surviving the Operational New "Normal" virtual townhall on July 19th.

As Flight Attendants, we’re used to schedules that don’t match a 9 to 5, but we need rest like every human. We plan our lives around the trips we are scheduled—including when to sleep and recharge. Even when we’re on, we should still have a predictable block of time in which schedule changes could take place.

At airlines with a union contract, there’s a clear process for assigning uncovered flying. And there are rules for management if sleep is interrupted -- even on Reserve (A-Days).

But at Delta, management controls all the work rules. And under the work rules, management can move us around however they want, without any consideration for our health, safety, or other plans we might have made around the schedule.

So imagine preparing for a later trip by going to bed a little later, so that you can sleep in a little longer and be well rested. Then out of the blue, after sleeping only 3 hours, you’re called for a 6am report time and a duty day that is well in excess of 12-13 hours. It isn’t humane, and it isn’t safe.

This isn’t an extreme case. It’s happened to many of our flying partners. Here are a few examples we've seen:

"I'm on A-days and was awarded my preference yesterday for a trip with a 6:30pm sign in today...I didn't get home until 1:30am from my trip on Friday...then got called at 3:30am to report for a turn at 6:15am so my report time changed by over 12 hours!"

"Got a call at 1:33am to get my report pulled up 10hrs to cover a trip that, here's the kicker...already has min crew!"

"I had this happen to me too. It is cruel to move up a report time by a full night's rest. I was so out of it for the newer trip they gave me (day turn reporting at 6am!) that I decided I would never do that again. If they pull that with me again, I'm calling in fatigued."

"While on my fatigued rest period, they called me again for another four leg day...this should not be happening."

Drastic schedule changes like this don't happen at other airlines, even if a Flight Attendant is on call—because union contracts have established clear processes and put restrictions on what management can do. While all airlines have to deal with the realities of the operation and unplanned events, AFA contracts at other airlines make clear the order of assignment, put constraints on what management can assign, how long you can be gone, and include extra pay in some cases.

With a contract, all of this can be negotiated and we can ensure protections are put in place to avoid this treatment. We're working to organize our union because we need work rules that protect us from this kind of unfair and risky treatment by management. As it is now, there is no way for Flight Attendants to rely on any type of schedule integrity—that’s bad for our lives, our health, and the safety of everyone on board our planes.

Sign a card today, then sign up to become a Delta AFA activist so we can have a real voice at work. Let’s hold management accountable.

In Solidarity,
Delta AFA

RSVP for the Next Delta AFA Town Hall: Surviving the Operational New "Normal"

Fix It With a Contract
When: Tuesday, July 19, 2022 at 5:00pm ET
Where: Zoom, RSVP here!

Our reroute rates are off the charts. We’re arriving late or getting flown into our days off. There’s not enough schedulers to keep up with cancellations and delays. Move-ups are suspended. Preferences are delayed. Bases across the system are exposed to unprecedented A Day percentages. And no contract to backstop any of it. Scheduling throws our “work rules” out the window for “operational needs” and management blames us for “unscheduled absences.”