Furloughed American Airlines flight attendant contracts coronavirus days after losing health benefits

on Oct24
by | Comments Off on Furloughed American Airlines flight attendant contracts coronavirus days after losing health benefits |

Thousands of airline employees have been furloughed because of the coronavirus pandemic this year — but this flight attendant’s situation just got even more difficult. 

Erica Carmine was a flight attendant for American Airlines before she was furloughed earlier this year. 

Her health benefits reportedly expired Oct. 15 and within days she was diagnosed with COVID-19 despite the extra precautions she was taking due to a heart disorder.

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On Friday, Carmine posted a photo of her test results on Twitter, calling for Congress to extend the Payroll Support Program. 

“As a furloughed flight attendant, I lost my health insurance on Oct 15,” Carmine tweeted. “Just diagnosed with COVID, with a pre-existing heart condition, I am high risk. Will your political games cost me my life? #ExtendPSP”

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On Friday, Carmine told Chicago’s WLS-TV she took leave from her job early on to avoid contracting the virus — but now she’s lost so much. 

“I ended up giving up my apartment because I took that leave; I could no longer afford my home,” Carmine told the local station. 

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“I had to move out of state,” she added. “I ended up still contracting the virus losing my job, and now only five days after losing my health care benefits I have a positive COVID test.”

A furloughed American Airlines flight attendant with a heart condition has contracted the coronavirus, just days after losing her health benefits. (iStock)

A furloughed American Airlines flight attendant with a heart condition has contracted the coronavirus, just days after losing her health benefits. (iStock)

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American Airlines furloughed 19,000 employees at the beginning of this month, which was the first and, at the time, largest, involuntary jobs cut in the airline industry, the Associated Press reported. 

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According to a previous report, of those 19,000 employees, about 8,100 were flight attendants and about 1,600 were pilots.

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