An American Airlines flight attendant has been banned from wearing a face shield because it does not match the company’s “image standards” – a report that says passengers will be abused.
The woman recently returned to the skies after landing for a month due to coronavirus-related cancellations, but a man who tested positive for the disease found that one of his flights The Boston Globe reports.
The Boston-based airline aide identified herself as 33-year-old Marie by her maiden name, and purchased a face-to-face shield to protect herself and others on May 2 when she flew to Dallas, the newspaper reported.
“Going to kick some ass!” She wrote on Instagram, where she posted a selfie wearing plastic armor on her N95 breathing mask.
After a few flights of the BBE, Marie told her bosses that she did not fit the safety gear carrier’s “image standards” and provoked passengers, and that she could take leave if she felt unsafe.
The Globe reported that although Mary felt intimidated, she continued to wear armor until last week when the airline issued a message that “the safety risk is so high that crew members are unable to respond to an emergency.”
The airline has officially banned such shields, but without them, the risk is really high, Marie said.
“I think it’s a security risk for us not to protect our entire face every second we go on a plane,” Marie told the news agency.
“Carriers like mine are going to create another devastating second wave of this deadly virus because we haven’t been given the appropriate PPE to wear. I can see this virus spreading across the cabin like wildfire,” he added.
American Airlines and other major US carriers say it is limiting capacity amid the epidemic – but one in 12 aircraft is packed to more than 70 percent, industry group Airlines for America reported.
Computer engineer Luis Mendis Paiva, who frequently flies to a job and wears a face mask at the doctor’s recommendation, flew with Mary from Boston to Charlotte last week.
“We want to encourage them to wear safety PPE as much as possible,” Paiva told the Globe about American Airlines Group.
US and other airlines have imposed a variety of protective measures, including the need for masks and passengers for masks – but eye protection masks are not part of the plan.
“The FAA does not authorize them for regular use on our aircraft, and the CDC does not recommend them,” the airline said. “Air hostesses are not allowed to wear face shields during regular flight operations.”
In a statement, the FAA stated that “Unless required to perform the required safety tasks, consent is not required by airline personnel to use personal protective equipment.”
Mary’s union, the Association of Professional Flight Assistants, told the Globe that its defense department is “now working with the company on this issue.”
A copy of an email from APFA’s defense chief Thomas Houdek stated that the union was discussing with the US about providing security glasses to assistants.
The email added, referring to her statements on social media that Mary’s “disgraceful posts” “predetermined the outcome of the case.”
“If he wore it on the airplane, he wouldn’t have made it a problem if he hadn’t taken care of himself by posting it on social media,” he wrote.
Marie said she believes the company is worried about scaring travelers – but she is more concerned about people dying of illness.
“Customers are embarrassed when I wear it … It was the bottom of the whole thing,” he told the paper. “To say that during an epidemic is unreal.”
On Thursday, he was wearing his armor when it flew for the first time since the materials were banned.
When a supervisor warned her about violating company rules, Mary appealed to the captain, who said the shields were not banned by the FAA, so she wore it.
“Safety is the number one priority. Security is our job,” he said. “I want to stop taking the second largest wave of this virus, taking innocent lives.”
American Airlines said in a statement to The Post: “The CDC does not recommend the use of face masks and masks. We will continue to study this issue, but it is our current standard for flight crews to wear face masks and follow other important procedures such as frequent hand washing in the most effective ways to stay safe. “