American Airlines employees launch campaign to "encourage civility" this holiday travel season

DALLAS (NewsRadio 1080 KRLD) -- Members of one of American Airlines' unions have launched an ad campaign to "encourage civility" when traveling this holiday season. Communications Workers of America represents 20,000 American customer service agents.

“A lot of the agents are sharing with me the hostility that the passengers have for them for having to hold so long. I'm someone's wife, I'm someone's mother, I'm someone's daughter, I'm someone's sister, I'm a human being. And all I wish is that you treat me with respect," the union's Deborah Johnson wrote in a statement.

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Through November 23, the FAA says it had received 5,338 reports of unruly passengers so far in 2021 and 3,856 "mask related incidents." FAA says it had also started 1,012 investigations, up from just 146 in 2019.

The ads are running on Facebook and Instagram in Texas, where in American is based, Oklahoma and Missouri.

The commercials are titled, "We're in this Together," "Thank you," and "Post-pandemic Issues."

"Customers attitudes have changed. They've got a lot going on," an employee says in "Post-pandemic Issues".

"The way I like to say it is people are locked and loaded," another says.

Agents say they understand why customers are frustrated, saying some have to wait "ten or 12 hours to get an agent on the phone." They say issues with travel and the increase of unruly passengers have created a "hazardous working environment."

"Ahead of the holiday travel season, we are encouraging passengers to be patient and treat the passenger service agents, who are there to help, with the respect and dignity they deserve so together, we can all make it to our destinations safe and sound," CWA wrote in a statement.