What does the Hotel Committee do?
The Hotel and Transportation Committee works with management to investigate Flight Attendants' concerns related to hotel facilities and transportation and periodically checks for any change in the quality of accommodations and services. The chair of this committee surveys potential facilities and attempts to eliminate or avoid potential issues involving transportation and layover accommodations.
The AFA Hotel Committee works to ensure that our Flight Attendants have adequate rest facilities while on layovers. The MEC Chair meets regularly with the Company to discuss Hotel and Transportation issues. To successfully advocate on your behalf, it's imperative that AFA is apprised of hotel issues. To provide feedback about a Hotel, fill out the online Hotel/Transportation Feedback form, which will be automatically emailed to the AFA Hotel Committee.
HOTEL SAFETY TIPS
Whether it’s for business or pleasure, traveling can be an exciting time, with plenty of new places to see and things to explore. Often, a hotel stay is part of this adventure. While staying in a hotel can be quite an enjoyable experience, there are certain safety issues to keep in mind, whether you’re traveling alone, with a partner or friend, or with your family. Here are the top 10 hotel safety tips to remember the next time you travel.
- Be aware of your surroundings. This includes when you’re in parking lots, public areas, elevators, or the hallway to your room. Have your key ready in hand before you get to your door so you’re not distracted as you look and fumble for it. Use common sense, and get yourself to a public area if you notice anyone or anything suspicious.
- Keep your room number to yourself. Most hotels these days no longer print room numbers on the keys. But don’t share your room number with strangers, and don’t display your key in public or leave it where it can get stolen. If it does disappear, request another room.
- Avoid staying on the ground floor. This will leave you much less vulnerable to break-ins and other incidents. In fact, many safety experts recommend staying on the third to sixth floors, as any higher can lead to fire safety concerns. If you can, also choose a room whose door opens onto an interior hallway or courtyard, rather than the parking lot.
- Identify a fire escape route. Once you’ve settled in, map out the nearest fire escape route. Many hotels provide convenient maps within the rooms but find those stairwells and emergency exits for yourself so you’ll have them committed to memory. Remember, in case of emergency, always use the stairs, never the elevator.
- Secure your valuables. If your room has a safe, store any extra cash, plane tickets, and other valuables in there. And never, ever leave valuables in a car in the hotel parking lot.
- Don’t open the door to anyone. If someone knocks, use the peephole to identify them first. Don’t assume it’s housekeeping or maintenance just because the person says so. When in doubt, call the front desk to confirm that the person is who they say they are.
- Keep the doors and windows locked while you’re in the room. This includes any windows or sliding glass doors. Avoid propping your door open, even for a short time. If your door has an extra bolt or chain, engage that as well.
- Make it seem like you’re home. When you leave your room for the day or evening, leave the TV or radio on. It may very well deter a thief if they think someone might be in the room. Hanging the Do Not Disturb sign is another excellent theft deterrent.
- Enter and exit the building through the main entrance. This will help you avoid unoccupied or deserted areas. It’s also a good idea to park in a well-lit part of the parking lot, even if you have to walk a little farther to get to your room.
- Keep your children in sight. Children should not be allowed to play by themselves on hotel grounds. This, of course, includes the swimming pool, but also the playground and other kid-friendly areas, as well as the hallways, elevators, and lobby.
GEG Hotel Review and Follow-Up
On December 11th, 2018, AFA and IBT representatives, Horizon Management and the Ruby River Hotel management met onsite to address numerous complaints from Flight Attendants about the hotel, namely cleanliness.
AFA addressed each complaint with HZN and Hotel management and their plans for the hotel to resolve the issues.
Onsite Hotel Inspection: We toured rooms throughout the property that were selected by AFA/IBT. Our primary focus was on specific rooms that had generated complaints. We observed improved cleanliness and were able to point out some areas that could use some attention. We tested the door locks and thankfully found no failures. There were signs of wear and plans for renovation of all guest rooms is going to be done in stages with an unknown timeline. We also saw random guest rooms in each of the six buildings and found the rooms were ready for occupancy as well.
Transportation: The hotel is “committed” to improving their airport pick-up performance and has agreed to begin a shuttle to the local area when it receives a second van in service. We have not received any timeline. Please file a report immediately if your van is delayed.
Elevator: There is still no elevator on property. We agreed to this exemption based on the hotel’s promise to assist in carrying crew bags to second floor rooms. Currently they are not doing this, even on request. We have not reached a complete resolution on this as night arrivals would require the only employee on staff to leave the front desk unattended. Please file the appropriate report immediately if you request assistance with you bags and are denied.
Food: The restaurant remains out of service and has been gutted as it begins a major renovation. Hotel management has offered an alternative breakfast buffet; however, this doesn’t work with crew departure times. Hotel management says it is providing a “grab and go” to those leaving prior to the buffet opening, but there is still no confirmation this is happening consistently. If you are not provided a “grab and go” breakfast please file a report immediately with Crew ConneX. Any safety related issues with food should be reported using an Irregularity Report.
Cleanliness: The “mold” issue was explained as long-term residue from charcoal-based bath bars accumulating. Hotel management has stated this residue is nearly impossible to remove from grout and caulk lines. There is an effort being made to remove all residue and re-caulk tubs/showers. The residue in toilets was explained as long-term hard water staining. The team was comfortable with the explanation after careful review of the rooms and following the discussion of follow-up plans, especially the focus on housekeeping attention to detail and their deep cleaning schedule, which is being developed. Please report and photograph any issues with room cleanliness on Crew Connex and/or in an irregularity report if safety related.
Next Steps: The team was in agreement that the hotel is making strides to resolve the cleanliness issues brought to their attention. That said, AFA and IBT remain vigilant that the agreements made with the Red Lion management must be adhered to even under the new Ruby River management team. When this property was a Red Lion, hotel management agreed that hotel staff would carry bags to the second floor and transport crew locally to restaurants. Since the change, new hotel management has not honored these promises. And finally, the closure of the restaurant leaves crew members no choice but to cross a busy street on foot. The risk of crossing Spokane’s main artery at night, on foot, and in severe inclement weather in our future, presents too much of a safety hazard.
Management in place has responded, due to AFA’s request for further review on the GEG property:
“Since the visit on 12/11 the company has not received any reports with concerns surrounding safety, security, rest, access to food or complaints of any type, so I am quite surprised to hear there are still “outstanding concerns.”
The company is committed to insuring the safety and comfort of our crews and will move promptly to address any concerns that are raised at the Ruby River Hotel or any other property.”
Of the most recent hotel changes, the company has overridden the unanimous first choice property in three of four markets. The secondary market choices do meet the AFA Minimum Standards Checklist, but were not the team’s preferred property during our sourcing visits because of availability of food and recreation opportunity, and the general hotel amenities in comparison to our choice property. Budget is definitely a factor in management’s final decision.
Please continue to report any hotel concerns via your CrewConnex ap and/or any safety concerns in an Irregularity Report.
Thank you for your continued reporting,
AFA MEC Chair, Accommodations and Transportation