With frequent fliers largely grounded, American Airlines employees have transformed Miami International’s premium passenger’s lounge into a makeshift sewing factory.
In the Admirals Club by Gate 30, airline workers are cranking out face masks for fellow employees.
Instead of snack buffets and avocado toast stations, the club is now filled with fabric cutting stations, ironing boards and sewing machines.
The mask-making operation was the brainchild of Suzanne Peters, the senior manager of Premium Services at the airline. Peters normally oversees the clubs, but they are all closed during the coronavirus crisis. So she offered to round up workers to cut, iron and sew masks made of old American Airlines uniform shirts and other donated cotton shirts. They have since begun using donated bedsheets and pillowcases, as they seem to work better.
“We were in a staff meeting a few weeks ago, and were told that the CDC was probably going to start requiring masks. They are very difficult to get, and we want to be respectful to healthcare workers and not take from them, but we have to figure this out for our local employees. I sat there and thought, `I’ve got a team full of doers, we have the clubs empty, and I know how to sew, so I can teach them.”
Ms. Peters and her management team hope to make at least 10,000 masks for staff at Miami Airport, as the coronavirus pandemic has infected hundreds of American Airlines employees.
American Airlines staff members in Dallas have also begun sewing masks, after unsuccessfully attempting to source masks to protect airport workers.
According to American Airlines, staff members at: Boston International Airport, Chicago O’Hare Airport, Philadelphia Airport, Richmond Airport, Washington Dulles Airport and Frankfurt Airport also started team mask-making efforts.
Source: American Airline Release