CHARLOTTE, N.C. — More flight attendants are saying they fear flying from Charlotte to coronavirus hot spots without masks, gloves or cleaning supplies.
Channel 9’s Allison Latos spoke with one flight attendant who tested positive for COVID-19 in March.
The flight attendant, who wants to remain anonymous, is based on the East Coast and said he has since recovered from the virus. He said his symptoms were mild.
The flight attendant said he took matters into his own hands to warn his co-workers because he said American Airlines didn’t.
The flight attendants union’s president in Charlotte said thousands based in the area are scared about getting sick on the job.
“We are in a pressurized cabin with recycled air and that is basically a flying petri dish,” said the flight attendant.
“Do you feel American Airlines was aggressive enough in trying to reach every member of the flight crew?” Allison asked.
“That is negative,” the flight attendant responded.
“The one thing that really disturbed me is that the people that I had contact with have never been contacted -- as of right now that I know of -- have never been contacted by the airline,” he said.
The flight attendant said he personally contacted each co-worker.
“Word had to get out to the crew members as soon as possible, because I've read up on the virus and what it could do and how powerful it is and the consequences of not contacting somebody and letting them know that they're at risk or their loved ones are at risk,” he said.
Fewer American Airlines planes are taking off and landing at Charlotte Douglas International Airport because of the pandemic.
The Charlotte president of the flight attendants union, Scott Hazlewood, said they’re concerned because routes are now changing without notice.
“Cities that are hot spots, flight attendants are trying to avoid them but they are getting their schedules changed to where they are being forced to overnight in cities like New York and New Orleans. They’re being put in hotels that don’t have food so it is kind of forcing them to go out,” said Hazlewood.
Hazlewood said they’re also extremely worried about a shortage of gloves, masks and cleaning supplies on board, and screening passengers nationwide.
“Some passengers are being denied boarding and booked on later flights until things are confirmed and yet others are still coming on board the aircraft. It is a big concern in Charlotte because it is not organized. Ground personnel ... no one has been trained on this,” said Hazlewood.
The flight attendant said now recovering from the coronavirus said he still worried about the risk, next time he flies.
“I am very weary about going back to work because nobody really knows the characteristics of this virus and if it can come back and bite me again,” said the flight attendant.
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