American Airlines employees are getting creative on the job. In the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic, US health agencies are telling people to wear masks in public. Over the last week, employees in Miami started a trend across the airline’s stations to make masks for frontline employees who cannot easily practice social distancing.
Employees making face masks
To protect frontline workers, American Airlines announced it provide face masks for employees who cannot easily practice social distancing. This is most likely for employees at check-in and gate areas who directly interact with a number of passengers everyday. However, this shipment of masks isn’t anticipated to arrive until this coming week. So, per a release from the airline, some employees in Miami have taken matters into their own hands.
Premium guest services representatives in Miami formed a kind of production line with stations set up for cutting material, ironing them, and stitching the masks using sewing machines. For those who did not know how to sew, a video call with one employee’s mother turned into an informational session on how to sew.
One team, led by Premium Guest Services Senior Manager, Suzanne Peters, set up in an Admirals Club in Miami. Meanwhile, Mercedes Haughton, a Cargo Manager in Miami, set up a sewing shop in her office to make face masks.
A network-wide operation
Miami was not the only station where team members worked on creating face masks for other employees. At Dallas Fort Worth International Airport– American’s largest hub– two other employees got to work making face masks. At American’s Base Maintenance facility in Tulsa, team members also started working on creating face masks for employees while planes stand parked outside the facility.
Other stations started to produce masks including Boston Logan International Airport, Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Philadelphia International Airport, Richmond International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, and Washington-Reagan National Airport.
Some employees in Frankfurt am Main International Airport and Detroit Metropolitan Airport are making masks for local healthcare workers.
Taking over an Admirals Club
Amid reduced demand and concerns about virus transmission, American Airlines has altered its Admirals Club and Flagship First offerings and closing some clubs. At an airport like Miami International, a major hub for the airline, there are multiple other clubs that passengers can visit. And, in a large facility like the Admirals Club, employees can spread out and practice social distancing.
This is a great use of closed space that will go to support frontline employees. Already, employees across American’s network have made more than 1,300 face masks just last week with more coming.
What do you think about this effort to make masks? Let us know in the comments!