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american airlines mask making coronavirus

Martinis to Masks: American Airlines Lounge Repurposed

American Airlines employees have taken mask-wearing advice to heart, with airport lounges being re-purposed as mask factories to help protect airline workers in need.

A manager began the movement, re-purposing dining tables to create an assembly line featuring sewing machines and packaging facilities.

In a statement to the Miami Herald, the idea was the brainchild of Suzanne Peters, the senior manager of Premium Services, at American Airlines.

Picture: American Airlines

“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.’”

Suzanne Peters, American Airlines

Ms. Peters was quick to alert gate agents, baggage handlers, check-in agents and many more about the opportunity.

So, with old uniforms, sewing machines and dedication, a team of around 25 American Airlines staff members work from 06:00 to 21:00 making the masks.

For those lacking basic sewing skills, an employee’s mother conducted a webinar on mask-sewing principles.

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.

Sources: Miami Herald, Dallas Morning News, and American Airlines Media Release. Feature Image: American Airlines