To American Airlines flight attendant Robyn Walters, her co-workers are like family. That made it all the more difficult last weekend when she had to say goodbye to colleagues who were working their last flights before being furloughed.
“It’s been absolutely heartbreaking,” Walters said. “They’re being separated from a career they’ve grown to love.”
Union officials said nearly 200 of Walters’ fellow Phoenix-based flight attendants were among 19,000 American Airlines employees furloughed or laid off nationwide on Oct. 1, one day after the end of a federal stimulus package that had been preserving airline jobs for the past six months.
The total furlough count for Phoenix, a hub for American, stands at about 300, said company spokesperson Matt Miller.