Delta Air Lines has said it will start paying flight attendants when boarding passengers starting June 2.
While Air Canada’s flight attendants are not in contract talks, the Toronto delays are reducing rest times, said Wesley Lesosky, president of CUPE’s airline division.
CUPE represents about 15,000 flight attendants at nine airlines including Air Canada.
Lesosky said flight attendants are now worried about the busy summer travel season if delays persist. “As we go into the summer, our concern is cabin temperature and just people becoming unruly.”
U.S. flight attendants in contract talks with carriers like American Airlines also are seeking to be paid during boarding.
Demands by cabin crew could put additional cost pressures on airlines recovering from the pandemic-induced slump in traffic.
Last week, 7,000 travelers waited longer than 90 minutes on airplanes, Toronto business leaders, including the region’s board of trade, said on Thursday.
“Almost 50% of all international arriving passengers, or 100,000 people, were delayed last week, a 20% increase in the past two weeks,” the groups said in a statement.
Flight attendants’ get their full pay in the air which generally stops 15 minutes after arrival at the gate, Lesosky said. Air Canada, the country’s largest carrier, was not immediately available for comment.
The office of Canada’s Minister of Transport has said it is working with the industry to reduce delays.