Southwest flight attendants reject tentative agreement for international flying

Washington DC
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Southwest Airlines flight attendants have rejected a tentative agreement to allow the airline to fly over water and to international destinations.

Of 3,934 votes cast by members of the Transport Workers Union Local 556, 61% rejected the tentative agreement while the remaining 39% voted for it, says the union. Less than 40% of the union membership voted.

Southwest, which currently does not operate internationally, acquired AirTran Airways in May 2011 and has said that it plans to transition AirTran's Mexico and Caribbean flights to Southwest. The two airlines are undergoing an integration process and Southwest signed a deal with IT provider Amadeus in April to implement a reservations system that will allow Southwest to operate internationally in 2014.

In response to the rejection of the tentative agreement, Southwest says that it is in talks with the union to return to the negotiating table and will work on a new proposal for the union membership to ratify.

"Southwest remains committed to continue to work toward a solution that is mutually beneficial to both sides," says the carrier.