Tuesday’s labor action is the latest round of airline crew picketing at the Atlanta airport, following informational picketing by Delta Air Lines pilots and flight attendants multiple times this year. Atlanta-based Delta is the largest carrier at Hartsfield-Jackson, while Dallas-based Southwest is the second-largest airline in Atlanta.
The flight attendants union at Southwest is seeking better pay — including pay while passengers are boarding planes, which Delta agreed to pay its flight attendants earlier this year when it extended boarding times.
Flight attendants are also seeking better contractual terms to ensure inflight crew get hotel rooms and hot meals when flights are disrupted due to technical outages or other problems.
During a technical outage earlier this year, “flight attendants were in a situation where they didn’t have hotel rooms. They were sleeping in the airport,” Head said. “The technical failures fail our passengers as well.”
The union also wants to discontinue on-call shifts that last for 24 hours, and is seeking better health insurance coverage terms, according to Head.