Paul Hartshorn, Jr., National Communications Chair of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, representing thousands of flight attendants that work for American Airlines discussed the paycheck protection program, regulations on service animals and more on AWF Union Podcast.
The airline industry was one of many industries that were ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic. With limited amounts of travel being done, the airline industry was losing millions of dollars and had to furlough thousands of workers.
The payroll protection program that was initially passed under the CARE Act was used to keep employees connected to their pay during the pandemic. It allowed companies to keep their workers employed, providing them with pay and health benefits. CEO’s were not allowed to use the payroll protection program for stock buybacks or dividends to help themselves.
The payroll protection program ran out in October, leaving airline workers to fend for themselves. Hartshorn explained that there is another payroll protection plan in the HEROES Act that has a great deal of support, they just need a vehicle to be able to pass it.
Service animals on aircrafts
Lately, a growing concern with the Association of Professional Flight Attendants has been service animals on aircrafts. Hartshorn explained that travelers have been falsifying their pets as service animals and bringing them onto aircrafts.
These service animals range from hamsters and cats, but most commonly dogs that are untrained and cause issues where they might have accidents, bark or bite other passengers. Hartshorn explained that the requirements for service animals on aircrafts has changed so that people may only bring trained and certified service dogs.