Airlines “abandoned” crew when a recent spell of severe weather saw hundreds of services get cancelled across the country, according to the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA).
Representing 28,000 US flight attendants, the organisation said that in recent days “Crew members were forced to sleep on the floor in the airport because they were unable to reach the hotel/limo desk.”
They also alleged that displaced crew were left with no information from airlines regarding which flights they would be required for to fly passengers home.
“Crews were abandoned in hotels, trying to reach crew tracking to receive information about sequence changes,” said APFA.
“Flight attendant crews were forced to sleep in one hotel room.
“Flight attendants waited for hotel rooms over six hours after landing, after being on duty for a full day.”
They added that some crews waited 12 hours or more to be advised of the rescheduled flights they were required for, and so ended up flying home on their own after being asked to vacate the hotels they’d been put up in.
APFA said: “Upon arrival at home, sometimes 24 hours later, crew tracking attempted to issue ‘missed trips’ to flight attendants that had no repaired schedule, no hotel, and no transportation to the airport.”
Airlines cancelled more than 3,500 US flights last weekend, citing weather in Florida and other issues.
FlightAware, a website that tracks flights, noted major disruptions at several Florida airports, including in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Orlando, as well as Baltimore, New York and other airports around the country.
JetBlue, Southwest, Alaska Airlines, Frontier, Spirit and American Airlines were the worst affected, with JetBlue and Spirit cancelling one-third of Sunday's scheduled flights.
The spate of cancellations arrived as air travel is rebounding from the pandemic, with strong demand for spring-break flights. People on social media complained about waiting on hold or in lines for hours to get their cancelled flights rescheduled and of being stranded for days.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies