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Passenger Incident Review Committee Intended to Support Flight Attendants

Date: July 6, 2019


The Passenger Incident Review Committee, often referred to as PIRC, is a cross-divisional team that includes Director level Leadership from Inflight Services, Corporate Security, Corporate Legal, and Airport Operations. It also includes Investigators assigned to each division. Since 2007, United and AFA have partnered in this industry leading program that supports Flight Attendants, as well as other front-line employees. 

In 2005 AFA discovered that in some instances due to jurisdictional issues, assaulted Flight Attendants were unable to get judicial remedy. Additionally, there was no mechanism in place for United to hold these passengers accountable. In an effort to find resolution for our Members, AFA approached Corporate Security. They agreed to partner with AFA to develop a program which would fairly investigate employee assaults, and yet where appropriate, still allow for passenger accountability. In order for an incident to be reviewed by the PIRC, it must be a Level 2 or higher, and involve an actual physical assault. This can range from pushing and shoving to inappropriate touching and sexual misconduct against an employee.

 Once a Level 2 is declared, or a crewmember assault is reported, the Inflight PIRC investigator gathers information, reviews the facts around the misconduct, and makes a recommendation to the PIRC committee. The committee is comprised of a member from Corporate Security, and Corporate Legal, as well as Senior Leadership from Inflight Services. They will then review and discuss the facts of the case, and determine the best resolution. Based on the severity of the incident, the outcome could include a loss of miles from one’s Mileage Plus account, pre-screening for future flights, or, up to a permanent travel ban on United. Although these types of occurrences are rare relative to the number of daily flights, Inflight has seen an increase in the amount of cases reported year over year.

Recent trends have shown an increase in cases involving intoxicated passengers. AFA has been working with Inflight Safety to identify the various factors which may contribute to passengers being over-served before their flight. Please keep in mind that it is an FAR violation to board a passenger who is, or appears to be intoxicated. Work with the Captain and CSR, if you are concerned about any passenger during boarding. 

For further information on the PIRC program, go to Flying Together – My Work – Inflight Safety Quick Links – Passenger Incident Review Committee.  Additionally, contact your Local Safety, Health & Security Committee.

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