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Fight for Assault Protection Continues

By Marge Krueger, Director of Airline Passenger Service

As of January 1, 2019, new protections from assault went into effect for passenger service agents across the country. Our members fought for more than ten years to get these protections passed by Congress, but the fight isn’t over. Since January, Union representatives from CWA and IBT  have been meeting with American Airlines to determine exactly how we will implement tools and policies to make the assault protections a reality at all our airports. 

Currently, one of the critical points is the kind of signs and warnings that will be visible at airports. Representatives at these meetings are calling on the company to make a strong statement that tells passengers that verbal and physical abuse will not be tolerated. We refuse to settle for anything less because this is what agents need and deserve. 

We hear the stories of “airport rage” from agents, and I see it myself on a regular basis. As numbers of flights go up and delays related to weather and equipment increase, so will the tension and anxieties of passengers—and that’s what leads to verbal and physical assaults. We need to implement real protections as soon as possible.

We will continue to update our members as we work with the company to implement policies to protect agents.