Renegotiate? Sorry United, Too Late
A tentative agreement is currently being voted on by United flight attendants that, if ratified, would finally bring all flight attendants from the three pre-merger carriers together under one contract. Although ratification is not a sure thing, some flight attendants I’ve spoken with at United and other airlines feel that if this tentative agreement is ratified it will be just in the nick of time.
On July 19th, United announced a drop in profits which takes into account the recent air traffic control changes at Newark (EWR) which rendered United’s once valuable landing slots worthless. Other global economic shifts, drops in air-fares and increases in fuel prices are bound to be brought into an ongoing narrative to justify lower performance for many quarters to come. Of course, we all know these are the same excuses used during negotiations to drive down overall contract values.
“We believe that the Brexit is expected to result in a slowdown in the UK’s economy, which will indirectly cause a depreciation of its currency, the pound. Both these factors will lead to a contraction in the UK’s air travel demand, which will severely impact the US Airline industry.” — IATA – International Air Transport Association
Although airline industry performance forecasts started off very positive this year; Brexit is the most recent example of how quickly an international development can affect the US airline industry. Analysts are already making estimates of how this will negatively affect US airlines which didn’t waste any time announcing reductions to their UK service.
Article: United announces reduction of UK flights (The Street)
The Flight Attendant Bubble
Could it be possible that United flight attendants could have a new contract before the industry starts to stall? Hopefully there won’t be a major downturn, but if there is it would be nice to know that these flight attendants would be flying above the storm for a change.