Coronavirus: 100 American Airlines flight attendants test positive for COVID-19, union says

100 American Airlines flight attendants test positive for coronavirus, union says

American Airlines flight attendants are testing positive for COVID-19, officials with the Association of Professional Flight Attendants said Tuesday.

While most of the country is in some sort of lockdown, there are still flights, albeit many fewer than normal.

Despite working directly with the public in what could be cramped quarters in recirculated air, APFA president Julie Hedrick said only now are masks being given to flight attendants if they choose to wear one.

Content Continues Below

Hedrick said the union has been asking for personal protective equipment for months, CNN reported. Employees have been permitted to wear their own facemasks, The Dallas Morning News reported.

“We have consistently advocated for Personal Protective Equipment for all of our flight attendants to be available on every aircraft, for social distancing between passengers and crew jump seats, for thermal scanning in the airports and to receive immediate notification of flight attendants who have tested positive for the virus said,” Hedrick told CNN.

American Airlines would not confirm for CNN that it had nearly 100 flight attendants testing positive for COVID-19, but did say in a statement:

“The safety of our customers and team members is our top priority. We are in close contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and public health officials and are coordinating with them on any required health and safety related measures. We continue to look at all ways we can care -- and protect -- our team during this stressful time.”

The number of attendants for American Airlines who have apparently tested positive still is less than 1% of the 25,000 employed by the company, the Morning News reported.

Union officials said only about one in four flight attendants will be flying in May because of cuts to the schedules, CNN reported.

The union representing flight attendants for Southwest Airlines said there are positive tests among its flight attendant community, the Morning News reported. But no concrete numbers were released.

FILE PHOTO: Jets are parked on runway 28 at the Pittsburgh International Airport on March 27, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Due to decreased flights as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, close to 70 American Airlines planes are being stacked and parked at the airport. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: Jets are parked on runway 28 at the Pittsburgh International Airport on March 27, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Due to decreased flights as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, close to 70 American Airlines planes are being stacked and parked at the airport. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images) (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)