United Airlines is implementing stricter measures against flight attendants who use personal devices on the job, threatening to punish them with job loss if they fail to adhere to the rule forbidding the use of such devices when seated in a jumpseat.

Getty Images
Getty Images

What Does The Memo Say?

In a memo that several flight attendants shared with Live And Let's Fly, United reminded its cabin crew that they are required to provide visible and attentive service to passengers.

“Neither is possible if a flight attendant is using a personal electronic device onboard.”

The memo warns that using a personal mobile phone in the jumpseat can lead to:

  • missing an onboard security incident
  • causing personal injury or injury to a jumpseat partner on landing if not properly braced
  • an inadvertent slide deployment if the personal device is held during the disarming of aircraft doors
Getty Images
Getty Images

The memo asks:

“Customers look to flight attendants for great service. How comfortable would you be asking someone for help if they were engrossed in their cell phone? What impression would that give you?…Even in public, you should always remain approachable in uniform and display courtesy to customers and other employees.”

Where can they use their phone?

Use of a personal electronic device and/or accessories is not permitted while customers are on board the aircraft, with the exception of crew rest.

What happens to those who do not follow this rule?

“Any crewmember found in violation will be subject to performance discipline up to and including termination.”

Beautiful female flight attendant busy in texting messages on her smart phone.
Getty Images

Recapping The New Rule.

United Airlines has recently reiterated to its flight attendants that using personal devices onboard is prohibited, except in crew rest areas. Failure to adhere to these regulations may result in dismissal. United asserts that the strict penalty underlines the severity of this issue. The rule does not apply to United-issued iPhones given to flight attendants for on-board services and crew communication.

In today's society, it seems people can't go anywhere without their mobile phones, even flight attendants. United points out the potential safety risks and unprofessionalism of a flight attendant constantly on their phone. Even on their breaks, it's seen as unprofessional for a flight attendant to be wholly absorbed in their device. As a regular passenger on United flights, it will be intriguing to see if the new warning regarding disciplinary actions will reduce personal mobile phone usage moving forward.

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