Ray Villeda, NBC 5 News
American Airlines has contracted with a third party company to clean its airplanes, but now there are concerns about the employees' credentials and security at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
Some American Airlines employees are raising security concerns at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport over the airline's use third-party contractors.
Sources say that crews from Air Serv Corp. that began cleaning and inspecting planes before takeoff on Thursday did not the proper credentials needed to be in secure locations.
The workers were going through an old American Airlines mail facility and making it to the airline's planes without IDs, badges or credentials, sources say.
American Airlines employees say they are concerned that the contracted workers have not undergone enough background screenings in order to be around the planes.
"We are currently working with Air Serv to handle some of our cabin cleaning," American Airlines spokeswoman Andrea Huguely said. "As is typical with a vendor, we had a few hiccups during the first days; however things with Air Serv have greatly improved since then. We hold our contractors to the same high standards as our in-house employees."
Transport Workers Union sources say complaints have come in from various airports across the country, including DFW Airport.
Much of the Fort Worth-based airline's cabin cleaning was done by TWU members, but those jobs were lost as part of the offer accepted by union during the carrier's bankruptcy process.
Thousands of positions have been outsourced nationally, including at least 200 locally.
"There will always be a concern when you lose good American-quality jobs because of quality service," Darrin Pierce, TWU Local 513 president. "You get what you pay for, so our concern is that American Airlines is able to provide the same quality service that they've always had. And our position is that we can do those jobs best."
Airport officials sid employees who need to work in the secured areas of the airport but are lacking badges can be escorted by badged employees for a limited number of days within a certain time period. This is perfectly allowable and legal per TSA and airport security guidelines.
Representatives for Air Serv did not return calls for comment Monday.