United Airlines AFA MEC Website

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA United Master Executive Council

Commuter Program - Review of JCBA Section 28

Date: July 12, 2017
Type: AFA Article

The provisions of the negotiated Commuter Policy were implemented on December 30, 2016 and established the standards for managing Flight Attendant attendance when certain unavoidable circumstances preclude you from reporting for scheduled assignments. 


Both pre-merger CAL and CMI Flight Attendants had a similar program, commonly referred to as the “Oops” policy, in their pre-merger Contracts. This new Commuter Program provision of our JCBA, covers all Flight Attendants and introduces the program to pre-merger United Flight Attendants. 


Details of this negotiated program are located on pages 219-222 of our JCBA and govern the following circumstances under which a Flight Attendant may be unable to report for a scheduling assignment:


1.     Unforecasted severe weather conditions or other natural disasters (i.e., blizzards, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other similar events), or 

2.     Hazardous or impassable roads resulting from severe weather, accidents, or natural disasters, or 

3.     Mechanical problems while on the way to work, or 

4.     Unexpected airport disruption(s) or closures

In order for a Flight Attendant, commuting by air, to utilize the Commuter Program the following provisions must be met: 


When commuting by automobile, bus, train, or public surface transportation (Section 28.B.4.a):
Flight Attendants who commute by automobile, bus, train, or public surface transportation must exercise good judgment and exert every reasonable effort to report for work.  By doing so, they will be afforded the same privileges contained in the Section for unforeseen events related to severe unforecasted weather conditions or natural disasters which render roads hazardous or impassable, or enroute mechanical problems, provided that they call their Inflight Duty Office as soon as the unforeseen event becomes known and it appears she/he will not make it to the airport to arrive at her/his domicile in time for their scheduled report (e.g., road accident, mechanical breakdown, severe weather). 

When commuting by air (Section 28.B.4.b.):

Flight Attendants must exercise good judgment and exert every reasonable effort to report for work including having the reasonable potential to commute on either of at least two (2) flights listed through the Company’s employee reservations system.  

24 hours prior to the flight’s departure time, both flights must be under authorization (levels) as displayed on the Company’s employee reservations system, including accounting for non-revenue space available travelers who are listed and have either a higher boarding priority or greater seniority than the commuting Flight Attendant.

Both flights must be scheduled to arrive at the Flight Attendant’s domicile (or the point of her/his duty assignment) at least one hour prior to her/his report time.  Note: It is always a good idea to document, the listing and seating chart.

You may utilize two different airports when listing for your flights, however the airports must be in proximity of one another and you must be checked in and at the gate one hour prior to the original scheduled departure time. Example: EWR, LGA

When an unforeseen event takes place (e.g., no available seat, weight restriction, delay or cancellation due to unforeseen significant weather at the intended airport of departure or arrival, ATC or aircraft maintenance), affecting the Flight Attendant’s first commuting flight, she/he must immediately contact Crew Scheduling to notify that you will be utilizing your back-up flight.  Your back up flight is the second flight on which you listed 24 hours prior.  If you are unable to utilize your back-up flight, re-contact Crew Scheduling immediately. 

In the case where a Flight Attendant is physically onboard your first flight or back-up flight and the flight diverts in route, the Flight Attendant must call Crew Scheduling as soon as you can make a phone call. Upon notification to Crew Scheduling, the Flight Attendant shall continue on to her/his base/domicile, if possible, unless released by Crew Scheduling/ Coordination. Upon arrival at her/his base/domicile, the Flight Attendant shall promptly contact Crew Scheduling/Coordination to advise of the arrival at the base/domicile.   Upon arrival, you are subject to assignment as provided for in Sections 28.E.1-5.

If you have additional questions, please contact your Local Council. 

All news stories

top of page