LINTHICUM, Md. (WJZ) — President Donald Trump is urging Congress to pass COVID-19 relief for airlines and stimulus checks after calling off negotiations on a relief package via Twitter Tuesday.
Airline workers at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport are left in limbo as this pandemic delivers blow after blow to the industry.
Damion West has been a flight attendant at Southwest Airlines for 19 years out of BWI.
“Being a flight attendant it not just a job being a flight attendant is a whole lifestyle,” West said.
While Southwest Airlines has no current plans to furlough their workers, without a stimulus package, he lives in fear as thousands of airline workers face layoffs and the loss of their health insurance.
“The same thing that other airlines are facing, as far as furloughs, like we’re next,” West said. “It’s a very scary situation.”
In a flood of tweets Tuesday, President Trump first said he wanted to stop negotiations on a major stimulus bill, then encouraged Congress to pass it.
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“We are hoping the people that represent us do the right thing,” West said.
Trump’s tweets caused backlash from airlines and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said in a tweet: “The American people can’t afford to wait.”
Washington’s failure to pass relief is already harming our nation's health and economic recovery. The American people can't afford to wait until after the election. There is no shortage of bipartisan and common-sense proposals. Put aside the politics and get this done.
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) October 6, 2020
“What are they gonna do to survive?” Kaleed Morse asked. “It’s a shame.”
As desperation among the airline industry sets in and airports remain relatively empty, West assures flying right now is safe.
“I just flew Monday and Tuesday,” he said. “I wore my mask. It is safe to fly.”
Some passengers agree.
“Be confident in knowing that the airline is doing a great job to make it as safe as possible,” a traveler named Chrissy said.
Millions of Americans don’t have time to wait — like the workers here at BWI.