Layover Safety, Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Date: January 28, 2017
Type: AFA Article
The recent election of the 45th President of the United States has sparked controversy in many cities across the world. Large cities have been inundated with political demonstrations, equal rights marches and protests. Although the majority of these events have remained peaceful there have been instances where violence has erupted and innocent bystanders, security and police have been injured.
We encourage you to avoid such events while on a layover. However, if you should encounter such an event it is important to maintain situational awareness. Be aware of your surroundings when leaving the hotel for food, exercise, shopping or entertainment. It is always safest to travel in numbers. We encourage you to utilize hotel concierge or front desk staff to identify areas of neighborhoods that are well lit and provide sufficient safety measures. Always remain aware of your surroundings. It is important to remember some rights that we enjoy in the United States are not afforded to us in other countries. Take precautions by keeping a low profile and by refraining from wearing highly visible clothing or jewelry. If you do go out by yourself, tell someone where you are going and what time you plan to return or leave a note of your intended plans in your room by the phone. You should also carry a personal ID in your pocket or purse. If you have a cell phone, take it with you. Other than obviously being able to call for help, some cell phones are equipped with Global Positioning Systems (GPS).
Keep in mind. Ultimately United management is responsible to ensure the safety and well-being of their employees traveling for business purposes. Should a dangerous situation arise, immediate efforts will begin, according to a prescribed procedure, to locate crewmembers on layover. This contact is essential especially if management makes a determination that crewmember relocation is necessary. If you are away from the layover location and become aware of the events, you are encouraged to contact OPBSK – Crew Scheduling, immediately, to advise of your whereabouts and to let management know you are safe or if you require assistance.
While we understand your friends and family are also concerned about your safety, we recommend against (as in never) using the “checking in” function on social media as a way to let people know you are safe. Unknowingly, in a situation where violence is ongoing, you could inadvertently provide a tip on your location that could put you in danger.
For those of us outside the situation who are concerned for those who may be in the conflict, we understand the need to obtain information on the status of friends and flying partners. However, every effort should be made to keep telephone lines open so that management can reach those on layover to determine what, if any, immediate assistance is required. Under no circumstances should we communicate the location of any crewmember using social media for reasons similar to those stated in the previous paragraph.
For additional information please visit the safety section of our website.