American Airways strikes flight crews to DC airport motels

An airline employee walks past empty American Airlines check-in terminals at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia on May 12, 2020.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds | Getty Images

Airlines are moving flight crews to hotels outside of central Washington, DC to avoid protests in the U.S. Capitol, airlines and a major union said.

American Airlines began booking Washington overnight crews at airport hotels on Tuesday and plans to do so at least on Wednesday, said Curtis Blessing, an American Airlines spokesman.

United Airlines flight attendants will also stay at airport hotels this week, while Alaska Airlines flight attendants have been urged to avoid downtown Washington DC, said Taylor Garland, spokeswoman for the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, cabin crews at those airlines and more represents than a dozen others. The decisions were made before pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon.

United crews staying in Atlanta will also be staying at airport hotels this week.

The airlines had relocated crews from central Washington, DC, on election day in November because of concerns about demonstrations and possible logistical problems.

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