Air Safety, Health, & Security Committee (ASHSC)
- Our AFA Air Safety, Health, & Security Committee (ASHSC) Chairpersons met on Thursday, April 14 to discuss their ongoing program of work to represent Flight Attendants interests related to safety, health, and security in our workplace.
- The Committee also met with management to receive updates and discuss issues and problems that Flight Attendants are facing onboard the aircraft.
- Reporting safety concerns is more important than ever given the challenges we are currently facing as a work group. Flight Attendant Irregularity Reports (FAIR), Aviation Safety Action Reports (ASAP), and fatigue reports can all be filed through Report It! Please contact a member of your Local ASHSC if you need assistance.
On Thursday, April 14, our AFA Local Air Safety, Health, & Security Committee (ASHSC) Chairpersons met to discuss their ongoing work to represent our Flight Attendants and push for improvements in our workplace. Representing you at the meeting were Debi Wallstrom (ANC), David Lake (SEA), Bethany Gilbo (PDX), Brad Young (SFO), Felicia Porter (LAX), and Eva Gatus (SAN). Also present were MEC ASHSC Chairperson Seth Heiple, MEC ASHSC Vice Chairperson—Air Quality Yvette Satterlee, and MEC Vice President Brian Palmer. The committee met with Director of Inflight Operations Michaela Littman, Director of Inflight Strategy & Support Gloria Chow, Cabin Safety Manager Cari Smith-Allen, and Manager of Inflight Policy & Procedure Joevanni Camacho and other representatives from inflight management.
Topics of Discussion
The committee reviewed a number of items both during internal AFA-only conversation and when meeting with management. Some items discussed include:
- Lack of onboard experience being provided to our newest Flight Attendants during Initial Training. The ASHSC believes that more onboard experience during Initial Training is better.
- Timeline for retiring legacy Virgin America carts and discussion about general cart maintenance.
- Lack of availability of replacement luggage for Flight Attendants.
- New IMD device and timeline for replacement of current IMD and electronic FAM (GoodReader). Also discussed the desire/need to have a bigger screen on the next IMD.
- Update on request to establish a dedicated time prior to boarding to perform emergency equipment checks and Flight Attendant briefings.
- The risk of irregular operations, such as reopening the boarding door after departure to enplane passengers.
- Wild fire season preparedness; there will be an accommodation process for those with health conditions increasing their risk of being exposed to poor air quality.
- Preparation for the eventual ending of the mask mandate. Note: unfortunately, many of the needed discussions and preparations did not take place prior to the abrupt ending of the mandate and associated company policy on April 18.
- Airbus L1 & R1 assist handle is not usable by all due to the placement of the divider. We have been working with the company for three years to address the issue. Although not ideal, an extension strap will be installed to the bottom of the current assist handle for Flight Attendants to hold in an emergency while pulling the manual inflation handle.
- Some of the mockups in training facilities have platforms which require Flight Attendants to step down and back up to get into their protected position during drills. This is a safety hazard. The platforms will be expanded to provide more space.
- LEOs have been using body cameras to record interviews with/take statements from Flight Attendants involved in significant events. These interviews can be obtained by the public via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The ASHSC asked management to update company post event protocols and training to account for this.
- Update on transition to T-Mobile. Company reports that service had been upgraded at most stations which had inadequate service at the start of the rollout.
- The need for brighter lighting during compliance checks.
- The adoption of the ASHSC’s recommendation to have the D-position Flight Attendant in a dedicated boarding position at L1 as part of the boarding position changes.
- Inflight management and AFA representatives not being notified of disruptive passenger and other significant events so appropriate response and support can be provided to crew.
- Report It! app to receive update to turbulence reporting section and the ability to submit EIRs (Employee Injury Reports)
- Inflight has agreed to take the ASHSC’s recommendation to add “in an emergency leave everything” to the safety demo in a future FAM revision.
- ASHSC is still advocating for updates to EMK/EEMK to include a pulse oximeter and glucometer among other improvements and standardization across kits.
- High quality hands on training of safest body mechanics to use when performing Flight Attendant duties.
What The Committee Is Working On
- Improved Restraint Devices. Advocating for replacement of current restraint devices with an improved product.
- Conducting Prior to Landing Compliance Checks Earlier. Advocating for a change to the timing of the prior to landing compliance check announcement. The ASHSC believes it is safer to make the announcement at 18,000 feet so we can be seated for landing closer to 10,000 feet.
- Reducing Carry-On Bag and Overhead Bin Injuries. Working with management to identify and implement mitigations for injuries caused by carry on bags and closing overhead bins.
We Want to Hear From You!
If you’ve experienced a safety-related issue, please help the committee to advocate for improvement and change by filing a report. Flight Attendant Irregularity Reports (FAIR), Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) reports, and fatigue reports can all be submitted using ReportIt! If you’re not sure what type of report to file for a particular situation or need help, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of your Local ASHSC.
Do you have other feedback for the committee or items that you’d like brought up with management? Please let us know! Your Local ASHSC is your voice to management. You can find our contact information on the ASHSC page of the AFA Alaska website.