United Airlines AFA MEC Website

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA United Master Executive Council

E-Lines: May 16, 2017

Date: May 16, 2017
Type: Dear AFA

Settlement of Aircraft Identification Error

As was reported on January 13, 2017, an aircraft identification error resulted in the improper assignment of five (5) 737-900 aircraft as pre-merger United Aircraft when, in fact, these aircraft should have been identified as pre-merger CAL aircraft.  Since January, discussions between the Union and management have been ongoing as we have worked to obtain a better understanding of the events that occurred and the impact of this assignment error on both pre-merger Flight Attendant groups.

All parties involved in the assignment process, including Inflight, Labor Relations, and AFA, implemented a number of actions including a mandatory sign-off process before the designation of aircraft assignment will occur in the future to ensure errors of this type are never repeated.  All scheduling up to the point of full integration will be consistent with the terms of the Contract.

We are today able to report that the company and the Union have reached an agreement on the resolution of this issue.  Preventative measures have been put in place to avoid any recurrence of this type of assignment error in the future.  In addition, a review of the facts revealed that aircraft hours for these five airplanes were assigned and flown by pre-merger United Flight Attendants when those hours should, in fact, have been assigned to and flown by pre-merger CAL Flight Attendants during all or parts of the months of October, November and December 2016.

In settlement of the issue the company has agreed to pay all domestic and Spanish language qualified pmCAL Flight Attendants on the System Seniority list as of the October 2016 and who worked as Flight Attendants for any period of time during the October through December 2016 bid months from a Flight Attendant Settlement Fund established in the amount of $711,000.

  • The Settlement Fund will be divided among the eligible Flight Attendants in proportion to the amount of their earnings during the October through December 2016 bid months.
  • All settlement funds will be dispersed as qualifying wages for purposes of 401(k) and Profit Sharing.
  • Taxes and other required withholdings & deductions will be withheld from the payments made pursuant to this settlement.
  • These payments will appear on the mid-June 2017 paychecks.


Settlement of MEC 1-17

On December 17, 2016, as a result of an operational aircraft substitution, flight 40 from Houston to Phoenix was scheduled to operate using a pre-merger United aircraft #3888 (a 737-900ER) but was staffed with pre-merger CAL Flight Attendants.

In Settlement of this dispute, the company will pay the four pmUA Flight Attendants who should have been assigned to work flight 40.


Welcome New Hire Class 1708

Today we welcome the 61 graduating Members of class 1708 to the line. Our newest flying partners will be reporting to their respective bases of EWR and SFO on May 23, 2017, for orientation and will be available to fly on May 25, 2017. Please join us in welcoming these new Flight Attendants to our family.


Efforts to Educate on United Kingdom Regulations

Our colleagues from Council 7 in LHR have passed along information that was shared with them by the British Airline Pilot Association (BALPA).  BALPA has been approached by the United Kingdom Police seeking a collaborative approach to avoiding alcohol-related problems involving crew members.  As part of this effort, the U.K. Police will be increasing the number of crew bus/aircraft visits they undertake as crews arrive into the United Kingdom. 

It is important that we understand these visits are educational in nature and have been designed to take only a couple of minutes.  The intent is to explain U.K. regulations, and officials will be happy to answer any questions crew members may have. 

Our colleagues at BALPA wanted to ensure we are aware of these planned visits by the U.K. Police in order to eliminate any sense of surprise or concern should your crew be approached on arrival.  These visits should be seen in the spirit intended – a positive move to ensure there is no misunderstanding of U.K. regulations.  While we all know that our objective on arrival in Europe is to get to our hotels as soon as possible to start our rest period, we trust you will greet these representatives warmly and accept the information offered for our collective well-being.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact your Local Council Office.


Auto boarding on Flights with Flight Attendant Badge Readers

Recently there have been some questions on the subject of autoboarding – what is it?  When can it be used?  What is the procedure?  Does this apply only to widebody aircraft?

Autoboarding is the process by which customer boarding begins at the agreed upon time after the gate reader opens.  The lead/purser and the CSR should brief to ensure a common understanding that autoboarding will be used and to establish a clear, mutual understanding of the boarding time prior to the Flight Attendants boarding the aircraft.  This process replaces the need for face-to-face or jet bridge telephone contact before boarding begins and can only be used in those circumstances where there is functioning gate reader equipment.  This is essential because the CSR relies upon the gate reader to determine the required number of Flight Attendants is on the aircraft for customer boarding.

Autoboarding is not limited to any specific aircraft type or operation but is reliant upon the presence of a functioning gate reader capable of scanning Flight Attendant badges.    If there is not a functioning gate reader or if the crew badge scanning software is not installed, the CSR must use the crew list to verify the required number of Flight Attendants has checked in.  Further, the CSR must confirm through direct verbal communication with the purser/lead that the required number of Flight Attendants is onboard the aircraft prior to initiating customer boarding.

We recommend that you institute, during the briefing, a contingency plan for communicating any unforeseen issues that could delay or prevent autoboarding.  As in all we do, effective communication is essential to ensure full compliance with all applicable regulations.

For additional information, please contact your Local Council Office.


Equal Rest for All Crewmembers! It’s about Safety, Health and Equality! 

In the absence of Contract protections, Federal regulations allow for a reduction in Flight Attendant rest to a period of eight (8) hours. Passenger deplaning, preflight preparation and passenger boarding are included within the rest period which means that the opportunity to actually sleep is closer to 4 or 5 hours before potentially working another 14 hour duty day.

Collectively we are calling on Congress to mandate a 10-hour, non-reducible, minimum rest rule and a Fatigue Risk Management Plan which will mirror what the FAA has established for pilots.  Flight Attendant rest should equal pilot rest. Through the FAA Reauthorization Bill, your Senators can make this happen.

Help bring the full force of our Union behind our goal to achieve equal rest for all Flight Attendants.  Rest now!  Fight for 10!

Call (855) 534-1774. Once connected to your Senator’s office, please tell them:

“I’m a constituent. I want my Senator’s support in aligning Flight Attendant minimum rest with the pilots and provide a Fatigue Risk Management Plan. Please urge the Commerce Committee to include 10-hour, non-reducible minimum rest in the FAA Reauthorization Bill. Thank you.”


Printed Copy of JCBA Available at Domicile Concierge Desk

Printed copies of the JCBA are available for distribution at your local domicile Concierge Desk.  We encourage you to pick up a copy as time permits.

For additional information, please see your Local Council Representatives.

Return to Safety home page

top of page