United Airlines AFA MEC Website

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA United Master Executive Council

Helpful Contract Reminders

Date: September 8, 2017
Type: AFA Article

As weather condition have caused irregular operations and flight disruptions across the system, many of you had questions about the application of certain contractual protections available to you. The following is a review of some of the most frequently asked about provisions. 

For Hotel and Transportation Issues remember to use the Self Help provisions of your contract.

Transportation: Under Section 5.D.4 of our Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement (JCBA) it requires layover hotel-operated transportation to be available to pick-up Flight Attendants within 35 minutes of block arrival. It also states that if transportation is contracted independently (“public limousine service” – in other words not a hotel van), the timely transportation standard is  45 minutes after block arrival. If these wait times are exceeded, Flight Attendants may use other means of transportation to the place of lodging, i.e. self-help, and submit those expenses for reimbursement when back at the home domicile.

HotelSection 5.B.5. states if you arrive at a layover hotel and your room is not ready within 30 minutes after arrival you may use Self-Help and obtain other accommodations. 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 to secure your own accommodations.  You may submit those expenses for reimbursement when back at the home domicile. 

We want to point out that securing overnight accommodations is the company’s responsibility.  However, when circumstances present themselves and the company is unable to secure timely, safe, clean and quiet accommodations for us, we are authorized under the terms of the JCBA to take care of ourselves and obtain a reimbursement.  Remember, when you do secure accommodations, you must also notify the crew desk of your whereabouts so that you can be contacted should the need for re-scheduling occur.

Commuter Policy: 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 Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement (JCBA), covers all Flight Attendants and introduced 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. Un-forecasted 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 there are a number of provisions which must be met.  Refer to Section 28 of our JCBA or the educational article on our MEC website.

Keep in mind, it is always a good idea to carry your Contract. If you need a copy, visit the MEC Website’s Contract page to access a digital copy.

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