The chances of your being involved in an aircraft accident or serious incident is statistically very low. Nevertheless, if you are involved in an accident, you could be subject to government enforcement action and/or disciplinary action by your employer. AFA-CWA can help you protect your personal interests. Here are some guidelines to assist you.
If you are involved in an Aircraft Accident, please notify AFA-CWA
As soon as you are assured that the immediate needs of your passengers and fellow crew members are being met, contact any AFA-CWA representative immediately. If you are unable to contact your local AFA-CWA representatives, call the International AFA-CWA Toll-Free at 800-424-2401 and Press 9 – there is about a 10-15 second pause, please wait during that time while you are connected to AFA’s emergency contact. The sooner you notify AFA-CWA, the better we can support you. Be prepared to relay the following information:
- Your name and employee number
- Airline involved
- Accident location
- Aircraft type
- Number of injuries and/or fatalities
- General description of accident
- Names of crew members and extent of injuries
- Phone contact at current location
- It is in your best interest to contact an AFA-CWA representative.
- Know your rights to representation. (see below)
- Prepare all written statements with the help of AFA-CWA. The statement should include only what you actually saw, heard, or did during the accident. Avoid speculating about what happened and what others did. Always tell the truth.
- If the company or a government representative presses you to make a statement before and AFA-CWA representative is present, refer to your representational rights below. If you are forced to make a statement, use the sample statement provided below.
- Never talk to the press
- Stay with your crew. If possible, coordinate travel away from the accident area.
- Your first reaction may be to say, “I’m okay.” However, consider and advocate for not just your physical needs but also your emotional needs.
- Contact your family, but do not invite them to the accident area.
- If possible, make copies of all documents related to the flight and/or statements.
In the Event of an Accident Points to Remember
Right to Representation:
Flight Attendants have a right to AFA-CWA representation at debriefings, NOIs, other company meetings and at NTSB interviews. Be sure to call AFA-CWA for your own protection! If you are forced to provide a written statement use the sample statement provided above this information.
Never make a statement to the press
If possible, stay with your crew or know the location of your fellow crew members.
As a member in good standing of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, you are entitled to the services of all Departments of the organization. In the event of a major aircraft accident or evacuation you are entitled to representation. Following any such event, members should consult with an AFA-CWA representative before making statements to anyone, including the news media. You may make the following declaration:
“Before making a statement or report, I wish to consult with a representative from the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA.”
Flight Attendants have the right to representation and every effort should be made to advise the Flight Attendant of that right prior to the investigation.
Any person interviewed by an authorized representative of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) during the investigation, regardless of the form of the interview (sworn, unsworn, transcribed, not transcribed, etc.), has the right to accompanied, represented, or advised by an attorney or non-attorney representative.
Once the Flight Attendant(s) have received medical attention and are emotionally ready, it can be expected that written statements as well as interviews will be requested by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), management at the carrier and/or local law enforcement.