United Airlines is moving its flight crews out of hotels in larger cities and downtown areas over concerns of Election Night violence tonight, saying the decision ensures “safety and suitable rest” for its employees.
The Chicago-based carrier said it was switching from city hotels to airport hotels in "specific cities due to potential disruptions that could impact layovers at these locations,” USA Today reported , noting the affected cities included Seattle, Washington, Denver, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Portland, Ore.
In a message sent to employees last week, United said the switch began Monday, Election Eve, and would last for a week.
"As we approach the 2020 presidential election, there is a possibility of renewed protest activity,'' the alert from inflight administration said. "We are taking precautionary measures to ensure your safety and suitable rest are met.''
The newspaper noted that this is not an uncommon move but usually the hotel switches are for more germane reasons – a potential for bad weather, conflicting events downtown that might make traffic to the airport more difficult, etc. But United and other carriers did make crew hotel moves over the summer and fall when protests mounted due to a national racial reckoning following the death of George Floyd.
Other airlines have not made any similar adjustments as of yet.