United Airlines AFA MEC Website

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA United Master Executive Council

Maintenance of Separate Inflight Operations or "Fence"

Date: December 20, 2012
Type: AFA Article

See: The Realities of Seasonal Schedules and Increased Productivity

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When United first announced the merger with Continental, AFA met with the company to define how work would be performed during the transition period until the airline is fully integrated.  A part of that Agreement specifies the maintenance of separate Inflight Operations also known as a “Fence.”  The language from this portion of the Agreement defines a number of issues important to United Flight Attendants.

"Prior to the implementation of an Integrated Seniority List and the effective date of a Single Collective Bargaining Agreement for United Flight Attendants, the inflight operations of United, Continental and Continental Micronesia shall be kept separate. 

"The following provisions shall govern the performance of Flight Attendant work during this period:

"United Flight Attendants, Continental Flight Attendants and Continental Micronesia Flight Attendants will not be interchanged between the operations of the respective airlines except to the extent such interchange exists as of the date of this Agreement. 

"All aircrafts operate or stored by United subsidiary or Continental subsidiary, and all orders, options (for example, B-787, A350) and anticipated returns as set forth in the respective fleet plans as of May 2, 2010, shall be designated as "United Aircraft" or "Continental Aircraft." 

"For purpose of this provision only, Continental Micronesia aircraft and Continental Micronesia Flight Attendants shall re regarded as part of the Continental fleets and staffing ratios, expect that no Flight Attendant of Continental shall fly as a crew member on a Continental Micronesia scheduled flight, and no Continental Micronesia Flight Attendant shall fly as a crew member on a Continental scheduled flight.  Appended as Attachment B.

"Except as may be needed to comply with conditions prescribed by the Federal Aviation Administration for the purpose of transition to, and eventual operation under, a Single Operating Certificate no Flight Attendant will fly as a crewmember on an aircraft in the fleet of the other carrier.

"In the event that aircraft are acquired to replace aircraft that were operated or stored by, or on order or option, as of May 2, 20120, each acquired aircraft shall be designated as a United aircraft or a Continental Aircraft, based upon the aircraft being replaced. 

"For purposes of this section, the term "replacement" means that the newly-acquired aircraft can be matched, on a one-to-one basis, to an aircraft that has left or will leave the service of the applicable carrier within six (6) months before or after the new aircraft enters service.

"If aircraft are acquired that are not replacement aircraft, United subsidiary Flight Attendants will operate any newly-acquired B747, A321, A320, A319 or A318 aircraft, and Continental subsidiary Flight Attendants will operate any newly-acquired B-737 aircraft.  As to other non-replacement aircraft entering the service, the parties will attempt to mutually agree, but if they are unable to do so, the aircraft shall be operated by the Flight Attendant group whose operations will result most closely in maintaining the ratio of Flight Attendant positions that existed between United and Continental Flight Attendants on May 2, 2010.

"Nothing herein will serve to prevent fleet reductions attributable to economic reasons not related to the merger, or the retirement of existing aircraft in the normal course of business or as a result of casualty loss, consistent with the carriers' obligations under the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement."

See: The Realities of Seasonal Schedules and Increased Productivity

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