The FAA grounded 737-9 MAXs on January 6th, following the Alaska Flight 1282 accident. This week, the FAA issued required inspection and maintenance protocols for airlines to return the aircraft to service. Alaska will return the aircraft to service Friday and United will return the aircraft to regularly scheduled service on Sunday.
FAA Administrator Whitaker’s leadership has been stellar through this process. Our union is confident in the FAA’s required action before returning these aircraft to service. It is clear that this isn’t where this issue ends though. We’re supportive of increased oversight and investigations into Boeing’s quality control.
Safety is our first priority always. We will continue to work with our airlines and the FAA to ensure the safety of crew and passengers, and participate in the NTSB’s investigation of Flight 1282.
The grounding of the 737-9 MAX has also caused economic impact to Alaska and United Flight Attendants. While some of the economic harm is covered by pay protections included in our contracts, there remains losses due to decreased flying opportunities, less open time, increased commuting challenges and costs, and other loss of income. These losses are directly related to the initial accident on January 5, 2024 and the grounding of the 737-9 MAX that followed.
AFA sent letters to Alaska and United CEOs informing the airlines that “economic harm to Flight Attendants must be included in the Boeing settlement discussions, and we expect the company to seek redress of the economic harm to Flight Attendants in any settlement. The harm to Flight Attendants is every bit as real as other economic damage to the rest of the company and we are a beneficiary of the Boeing contract.”
We continue to support the crew of Alaska 1282 and other Flight Attendants affected by this. AFA EAP is always available to Flight Attendants at (949) 470-0493.