United Ends Attendants’ Booze-in-Bags Ban as Union Balks

The Association of Flight Attendants celebrated as United’s no-booze policy (implemented only 24 hours earlier) was canned. I first posted about the disagreement late last May but just discovered that the follow-up post a day later was mistakenly restricted. Thanks again to John from Brg for sharing:

A rule banning attendants from possessing alcohol while on duty, even in luggage, was withdrawn within a day after United announced the move, a union spokeswoman, Corey Caldwell, said in a phone interview yesterday.  “In less than 24 hours, AFA was able to pressure management into reversing the policy,” Caldwell said. While attendants accept existing rules against on-the-job drinking, they objected to the reach of United’s regulation, she said.

United “chose to update” its alcohol rules during a “regular review” of company policies, according to a statement from the carrier. “After we received feedback from our flight attendants, we rescinded this policy for further review.” Megan McCarthy, a United spokeswoman, declined to comment beyond the statement.

Caldwell said some attendants saw the alcohol regulation as infringing on their rights. For example, the policy would have barred an employee from buying a bottle at a wine shop during a long layover and taking it on board in luggage, Caldwell said. “No one knows where this came from,” Caldwell said. “There was no incident, no triggering factor. It just came out of left field.” The union learned of the change on May 21 when United disclosed it in an internal publication called “Inflight Services Weekly.” The regulation said flight attendants weren’t allowed to possess alcohol at any time while on duty without management’s permission.

United made an exception for alcohol bought between flights at a duty-free shop, and required a receipt in such cases, according to the airline’s statement.

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Duty Free

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  1. Gordon can you please come back and save this merger. Jeff is an absolute bafoon and a complete socially awkward idiot. I miss my old continental but since I switched to another airline 3 years ago, I am just nostalgic.

  2. What, those peasant attendants are complaining about having no wine? Let then drink vinegar!

    –Jeffery Smisekionette

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