Welcome Ms. Nelson; SMS is a vehicle for AFA to expand its Aviation Safety Program

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ARTICLE: Flight Attendant Union Ushers In New Leadership

Sara Nelson Takes Office As Int’l President Of AFA


The Association of Flight Attendants announced its new leadership team:

· Sara Nelson ,AFA International President,

· Debora Sutor International Vice President, and

· Kevin Creighan International Secretary-Treasurer.

Ms. Nelson (pictured above) issued a statement upon her election:

“We are moving AFA forward, mobilizing flight attendants for better pay, better working conditions, and better careers. For the past 68 years, we have maintained a laser-focus on flight attendants that has made a real difference at the bargaining table and in the legislative/regulatory arena. With our union we have an expert voice at work and we continue to beat back discrimination wherever it exists. It is an honor to carry on that tradition as International President as we bring that same focus to raising industry standards for flight attendants across the board.”(Emphasis added)

That’s an interesting set or union priorities, but it seems to understate the importance of safety to the flight attendants agenda.

Having destroyed the inappropriate, offensive stereotype of being “hostesses”, AFA has worked hard to establish a strong reputation on its advocacy on safety issues like carry-on bags, unruly passengers, emergency evacuations and protection for passengers/flight attendants from entry door low clearances. AFA has been cited for the FAA’s accession of some of its safety jurisdiction to OSHA , a major advance in governmental oversight of its members’ workplace.

The FAA’s and the airlines’ greater reliance on SMS for safety improvements should provide a better platform for these cabin safety officers to participate in the data rich, integrated, preventative and comprehensive programs which are the backbone of this new regime. The flight attendants become not only the advocate for its professional members as well as the eyes and ears of the passengers in these complex, critical discussions.

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