Ladies and Gentlemen:
Bidding for the Early Out Program opened today and will remain open through May 31, 2012. The extended bid period was accomplished through our diligence in working with management to ensure you have a sufficient amount of time to get the information you need to make the best decision for your individual circumstances.
Flight Attendants with 15 years of inflight seniority are eligible to bid for the Early Out Program, including those on Leaves of Absence and Voluntary Furlough. Flight Attendants choosing to participate in the Early Out Program will receive benefits consistent with the Early Out Letter of Agreement including a severance payment, pass travel and medical benefits. The amount received depends upon your individual years of service and whether or not you are eligible for retirement at the time of the Early Out.
United will award as many Early Out awards as possible without negatively impacting the operation. If there are a large number of Early Out participants, we can expect to see higher line averages and we may see the elimination of Partnership Flying after August. Additionally, there may be fewer Special Leaves of Absence and it could be necessary to recall Flight Attendants from Voluntary Furlough and, conceivably, it is possible that eventually United might even return to hiring Flight Attendants.
We have compiled information about the benefits of the Early Out Program as well as retirement considerations on our website, including a link to United’s Questions and Answers (Q&A). Considerations such as pass travel and insurance benefits may impact your decision and we recognize the importance of providing you information as you consult with your financial advisors and family members regarding the impact of your decision to discontinue your employment with United.
For those already eligible and ready to retire, your decision may be fairly straightforward: the Early Out could provide an opportunity to retire with an increased financial benefit. For those participating in the Voluntary Furlough program, who do not intend to return to work at the conclusion of the furlough period, this could provide a significant cash benefit in facilitating your leaving United Airlines employment. For others who are eligible but not yet of retirement age, we encourage you to become familiar with all the pro’s and con’s and make a choice that is the most beneficial for your individual circumstances.
Leaving a job is a major life changing decision. We encourage you to carefully review all the details, attend Local Council meetings and ask questions. Include your family, friends and financial advisors in your discussion to be sure you make the best decision for your future.
Greg Davidowitch, President
United Master Executive Council