Delta Employees Eyed By An American Flight Attendant Union

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) is targeting Delta Air Lines. As Delta is the largest carrier in the United States without unionized flight attendants, the AFA views the carrier as the next step forward in advancing the number of unionized flight attendants. Delta’s flight attendants, however, have previously rejected union membership.

Update on November 2, 2019 at 16:41UTC: Article updated with a statement from Delta.

Delta 777
Delta is the next target for the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) Photo: Delta Air Lines

Delta and a flight attendants’ union

On November 1st, the AFA announced their intentions to assist in the organization of a union at Delta Air Lines. This does not indicate that Delta’s flight attendants are set to unionize, rather, that the union is interested in organizing Delta’s flight attendants. The AFA’s International President, Sara Nelson, had the following to say:

We have heard from thousands of Flight Attendants at Delta Air Lines asking for AFA’s help in gaining union representation. Today, we’re excited to launch that campaign with 25,000 Delta Flight Attendants to gain a voice, respect and fairness on the job

Delta Air Lines, on the other hand, offered Simple Flying the following comment:

While we respect our flight attendants’ right to choose whether or not to support AFA representation, we feel that our direct partnership with Delta people plays a significant role in our award-winning culture and customer experience including our ability to respond and implement quickly to our flight attendants’ ideas and feedback

Delta Flight Attendant Union
Delta’s flight attendants are currently not unionized. Photo: Delta Air Lines

Flight attendants at Delta are currently not part of a union. CNBC reports that the last time flight attendants worked with the AFA was in 2010. Back then, in a vote, flight attendants rejected unionization. However, now the AFA wants to try again.

Operations at Delta

Delta has done well over the last few years. It is very profitable and notch impressive load factors. As one of three legacy-carriers in the United States, not only is Delta one of the largest carriers in the United States, but also one of the oldest.

In recent years, Delta has also set out on a quest to enhance partnerships through joint ventures such as those with Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic in Europe and, more recently, with LATAM in South America.

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Delta has had some good fortunes in recent years. Photo: Delta Air Lines

The AFA’s move also comes as Delta looks at expanding their workforce. Although, they may not have an easy time organizing these flight attendants. Historically, Delta has had a good relationship with its employees.

Pay raise for Delta’s flight attendants

In early September, Delta announced that some of its employees were set to receive a 4% pay rise from October 1st, 2019. This includes Delta’s flight attendants. In addition, Delta also participates in profit sharing and indicated that employees should expect an increase compared to the previous year.

Delta Flight Attendant Union
Delta CEO Ed Bastian greets a flight attendant on Delta’s Profit Sharing Day 2019. Photo: Delta News Hub via Flickr

Will Delta have a flight attendant union?

As of now, the answer is unknown. A vote has not publicly been announced, although, it may occur after both Delta and the AFA attempt to persuade the flight attendants one way or another.

Delta Air Lines 717
It is unclear if the AFA’s movement will be successful. Photo: Delta Air Lines


Based on the current situation, it does not appear that passengers should expect major disruptions to their travel plans. Delta’s flight attendants are currently not unionized and there has not been a major public push on their part to unionize. It remains to be seen, however, exactly how this pans out.

Do you think Delta’s flight attendants should form a union? Let us know in the comments!