After billions of dollars in additional federal aid failed to come on Wednesday, airlines across the country plan to lay off tens of thousands of workers.
Among the jobs expected to be the hardest hit are flight attendants, with Fort Worth-based American Airlines planning to lay off 8,000.
“It is absolutely heartbreaking and a little bit of shock because I think a lot of us thought the PSP(federal aid) was going to come through,” said AA flight attendant Elise Arrietta.
Arrietta and thousands of other American Airlines employees received letters in the mail in recent weeks notifying them that without additional federal aid their jobs, based on seniority, would be eliminated.
“It is just so sad because it is through no fault of our own, we have been working hard through the pandemic and to now lose it all, we didn’t do anything wrong,” said AA flight attendant Allie Malis.
The union representing American Airlines flight attendants has blamed inaction by congress for stalling a plan to assist the airlines that had in recent weeks received bipartisan support. Industry experts have also warned that the drastic cuts now being made by the airlines will have far-reaching ramifications, resulting in reduced service.
“Most of us are disappointed to leave our favorite career we’ve ever had,” said Arrietta.