AFA E-Lines: Apr 17, 2015
Choose a different E-Lines:
Verification Letters in the Mail
- Call to Action – #FightAviationFatigue
- Using Self-Help for
Hotel and Transportation
- Airline Quality
Ratings (AQR) 2015
Seniority Verification Letters in the Mail
Last week, the Seniority Merger Integration Committee (SMIC) met in Washington DC to finalize the Seniority Verification Letters (SVL) that were placed in the mail on April 15, 2015. Over 20,000 letters were sent to the combined group of Flight Attendants at United Airlines. We anticipate these letters will begin arriving at the home addresses on file with the company by the end of this week.
While letters are being mailed to everyone, the Members of the SMIC recognize that Flight Attendants living outside the US might face delayed deliveries by mail. To better ensure a timely delivery to those Flight Attendants with an address of record outside the US, a copy of the letter will be placed in the company mail file of anyone with a non-US address on file with the company.
If you do not receive a Seniority Verification Letter by April 27, you may request that a duplicate be sent to you by email. To do so, send your request to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Your request must include your Name, File Number, Subsidiary Name, and your Email Address. You will receive a response within five business days.
Call to Action – #FightAviationFatigue With #EqualZzz
Federal Regulations permit that Flight Attendant minimum rest can be reduced down to eight (8) hours. For pre-merger United Flight Attendants, our Contract provides that our block-to-block minimum cannot be reduced down to eight hours.
As Flight Attendants we all know an eight-hour rest does not actually mean we receive 8 hours of rest. Through AFA-CWA’s advocacy the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has commissioned multiple Flight Attendant Fatigue Studies. It’s about time we stand together with all Flight Attendants to have the results of these studies put into action.
Through the FAA reauthorization bill we are calling on our Representatives to mandate a 10-hour minimum rest rule, which will mirror what the FAA has established for the Pilots. While your Local Council Government Affairs Committee Members are talking to Representatives and Senators on Capitol Hill, they cannot fight this fight alone. We need your help to bring the full force of the Union behind our collective goal of achieving a 10-hour minimum rest for all Flight Attendants.
Please call your U.S. Representative today!
Find your Representative >
Sample Phone Message:
“Hello, my name is ___________ and I am calling from ______(city/state). I am calling to urge Representative ___________ to mandate a 10-hour minimum rest requirement for Flight Attendants. Congress has commissioned fatigue studies for Flight Attendants and its time to put the findings into full force. Thank you.”
If you are a Twitter fan, please Tweet something like:
To members of Congress working to fight Flight Attendant Fatigue, AFA appreciates your support!! #FightAviationFatigue #EqualZzz #AviationSafety
I support the fight against Flight Attendant Fatigue!!! #EqualZzz Minimum 10 hour Rest Requirements NOW!!! #FightAviationFatigue #AviationSafety
Using Self-Help for Hotel and Transportation
When is it appropriate to use self-help for hotel and transportation issues? Under Section 6.C.4.c. of our Contract it requires layover hotel-operated transportation to collect Flight Attendants within 35 minutes of block arrival. It also states that if transportation is contracted independently (“public limousine service” – in other words not the hotel van), the cut-off time is 45 minutes after block arrival.
Section 6.B.4. of the Contract requires that hotel rooms be available within thirty (30) minutes after our arrival at the hotel and, if they are not, we are authorized by the language in our Contract to obtain other accommodations and claim reimbursement for reasonable actual lodging expenses on a Company expense form supported by the hotel receipt.
There are certainly other times you may also use Self-Help such as: no hot or cold water, no power, no heat or air conditioning, broken door locks, bugs or vermin of any kind in your room, no food availability whatsoever, noise that prohibits legal rest or any situation that threatens your safety or well-being. In addition, if you arrive, as a result of irregular operations, in a city where a hotel was not planned but becomes necessary, you may find yourself needing to use these procedures.
If you encounter any of these issues, take the following action to correct your experience:
- Calmly attempt to resolve the issue with the people providing the services – the hotel or transportation company. Always ask to speak to a manager on duty.
- If this fails to fix the problem, call the Hotel Desk (FLTLINE, Option 2) and ask for their assistance
- If you do not get resolution to your situation through these two avenues, go to another hotel and take a taxi if necessary. Ensure that you have the names of hotel and company representatives with whom you’ve spoken. Get receipts for all of your expenses and submit a company expense report for reimbursement.
- Once settled into a different hotel, call Crew Scheduling and let them know where you are. Be aware that the Hotel Desk is not the Crew Desk.
Don’t be afraid to act in your best interests. United is responsible for our safety on layovers. If they do not respond, take care of yourself. If one of your flying partners is in trouble and doesn’t have the expendable cash or a credit card to take care of it, help them out if you can.
When you return from your trip ask your supervisor for United’s Employee Expense Report form. In addition to filling out an expense report with receipts attached, write a TVLLOG detailing the names of the persons with whom you’ve spoken at both the hotel and the Hotel Desk. Make copies for yourself of the TVLLOG, expense report and receipts. If you are not reimbursed promptly, file a Local Council Worksheet and call your Local Council Office for assistance.
Self-help is not only allowable per our Collective Bargaining Agreement; it is strongly recommended you seek self-help to ensure adequate rest. The AFA MEC Hotel and Transportation Committee meets with United Crew Accommodations monthly, to address problems and seek positive resolution. Our advocacy is strengthened when problems are documented and trended through your TVLLOG reports. Help us help you: use only TVLLOG every time you experience a problem or conversely, a positive experience.
Airline Quality Ratings 2015
The release of the 2015 Airline Quality Ratings (AQR) on April 13, 2015 represents the 25th year of reporting of airline performance. Developed and announced in 1991, AQR is an objective method for assessing airline quality based on combined monthly performance criteria. The scores are based on 15 elements in four major areas that focus on airline performance aspects important to air travel consumers as measured over the calendar year of 2014.
Using the AQR system of weighted averages and monthly performance data in the areas of on time arrivals, involuntary denied boarding, mishandled baggage and a combination of 12 customer complaint categories, airlines’ comparative performance for 2014 is reported and creates an objective reporting standard. This moves away from a system that was previously reliant upon subjective surveys of consumer opinion that were infrequently collected. The resulting ratings created through this objective standard provide consumers with a comparison of airlines not only to one another but also to the industry as a whole.
The results of this year’s AQR are very concerning. As with any information, especially objective data, there is value in understanding what the data means and the underlying issues behind the data. This is especially true as we compare the performance of our airline to that of the industry. There is a message of value for United management. If United management is serious about competing in this ever evolving industry they must complete the operational integration – including the negotiations for our joint Contract. In addition, management must change their increasingly antagonistic relationship with labor and look to join together with all employees so that we can, together, meet the challenges presented by our competitors.
When you consider the highly ranked airlines in the AQR and, more specifically, look to the examples of Alaska and Hawaiian Airlines, it must also be understood that the employees of these companies enjoy industry leading Contracts. These employees enjoy good labor relations where they are treated with respect and share in the overall success of the business. These are key components to success in the heavily service-oriented airline industry. In getting serious about competing in the industry, United management must be prepared to make these same commitments to employees. Management must recognize the value that labor, indeed each employee, regardless of their pre-merger subsidiary affiliation, brings to our airline. We must return to an environment where diversity is valued and change the prevailing corporate perception such that differences of opinion are recognized not as negativity, but as opportunities for improvement and growth. We stand ready to enter this partnership. After all, it’s our airline!
To review the complete Airline Quality Rating 2015 co-authored by Dr. Brent D. Bowen of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Prescott and Dean E. Headley, of Wichita State University please visit our website.