united airlines in a leaked memo tells flight attendants not to use electronic devices in-flight

Leaked Memo: United Threatens Termination Over In-Flight Mobile Phone Use

Almost everyone is using their phones everywhere nowadays. However, United is looking to put a stop to this at least on their staff. United Airlines allegedly threatened employees with termination if they used their mobile phones during flights, according to a leaked internal memo. 

According to the leaked internal memo, the airline reminded employees that using personal electronic devices during flights is “not permitted.” This way, employees can deliver “visible and attentive service” to passengers while on flights. 

Leaked Memo

It added, “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.” It also said, “Even in public, you should always remain approachable in uniform and display courtesy to customers and other employees.”

Is it really that bad to use phones while on flights if you’re working as a flight attendant? According to the airline, yes. 

United reiterated the importance of being present during the job. The memo mentioned several safety issues that could happen if flight attendants are on their phones during a flight. This includes “missing an onboard security incident” and “causing personal injury or injury to a jumpseat partner on landing if not properly braced.” 

Termination for Using Phones During Flights?

The memo reportedly stated that anyone caught violating this policy would be “subject to performance discipline up to and including termination.” 

The policy was leaked a few days after the airline announced its annual fourth-quarter earnings. The airline reported that they had a $13.63 billion revenue in the last quarter of 2024, 10% higher from the same time from the previous year. 

United CEO Scott Kirby said, “Despite unpredictable headwinds, we delivered on our ambitious EPS target that few thought possible — and set new operational records for our customers.”

United Airlines refused to comment regarding the leaked memo. While the penalty seemed harsh for the flight attendants, it underscores the severity of the problem.

John Michael Jayme
John Michael Jayme
John Michael Jayme is a Travel Analyst for The Jet Set. He writes about news and events affecting the travel industry.

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