On top of the unruly passengers that flight attendants have to deal with, they’ve also been experiencing a lack of sleep and rest periods in between catching flights.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials announced on Tuesday that they will now require airlines to give flight attendants at least 10 hours of rest between flights, the same as pilots receive. Current rules allow flight attendants a minimum of just 8 hours.
This new requirement applies when flight attendants have a commitment of 14 hours on shift, and if their commitment period is any longer, they are allowed additional time.
Many flight attendants who have worked minimum overnight layovers have not been getting the recommended amount of sleep, some even doing multiple overnights in a row, leading to fatigue and burnout. With this new rule, flight attendants will have more time to get a night of proper rest, thereby improving their work-life balance.
US Senator Maria Cantwell, who advocated for this bill, said in a statement on Tuesday following the announcement, “Flight attendants perform critical safety roles on behalf of the flying public and have long deserved the same rest periods afforded to pilots.”
All airlines will now have a 90-day period to implement these new rules into their scheduling for crew members. Some airlines already have similar rules in place, but this policy will allow for consistency across the industry and some well-deserved Zzzs for inflight crew.