United Airlines AFA MEC Website

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA United Master Executive Council

Questions and Answers – Partnership Program for Flight Attendants

Date: November 18, 2013
Type: AFA Article

Can all flight attendants participate in the partnership program, regardless of their seniority?
Although active flight attendants can bid for the partnership program, awards will be determined by seniority, base surpluses and cost effectiveness. Partnerships generate cost savings for the Company through salary because two flight attendants fly one line. However, benefit costs for each of the partners continue and costs are incurred in administering the program.

The aggregate cost savings of the program will also determine whether all flight attendants who desire to, will be able to participate. If there are sufficient numbers of senior partnerships to offset the costs of junior partnerships that may not provide cost benefits, the junior partnerships may be awarded.

What qualifications are included for eligibility?
Flight attendants in a partnership must have these same qualifications: aircraft, services (domestic and/or international) over-water and passport, and be located at the same base. If one of the partners is internationally qualified and the other is not, they can bid for partnership. However, they can only share domestic lines.

If I bid and am awarded a line on the junior partner's seniority, do I continue through the month with the junior seniority?
No. Once the senior partner's line of flying has been constructed, each partner will have separate trips and the seniority of each flight attendant will apply to any competitive actions (i.e., trip trading, reassignment, conversion, competing for premium positions, etc.).

If my partnership bids a line worth 95:00, how will we split the line of flying if our monthly maximum(s) is 46:00? Will one of us be forced to opt?
The trips will have to be distributed so that the ID(s) will fit into the two individual lines of flying. This could force one or both of the partners into an opt situation.

Can we split an ID in order to fit all of the trips into our individual lines?
No. Individual IDs may not be split between the partners.

If my partnership is awarded a line of flying with three high-time trips, how will we split the line?
Each partner must take one of the IDs (up to 50:00). The lesser value trip that remains unassigned will be placed into open flying.

We only have three days after primary lines are awarded to notify the Company how we want our trips divided. What if I can't reach my partner?
Partners are responsible for notifying the Company of which trip(s) they will each be flying. If you know in advance that you will not be available to coordinate the distribution of flying, you may notify the Company of each partner's preferred flying dates. Absent notification by the partnership, the Company will distribute the flying as equally as possible, with the greater portion assigned to the senior partner.

Our awarded line of flying has been split and my partner and I each have separate lines of flying. Can we trade with each other?
Yes. Once a partner has an individual line of flying, she/he can trade with open flying or any other flight attendant, including her/his partner, provided all qualifications are met.

If I'm a partner, when may I submit trip trades?
As a partner, a flight attendant may only submit trip trades after her/his individual line has been constructed.

If I want to pick up a trip from open flying on my individual partner line, what category will I use?
Because partners have opted to reduce their line guarantee by virtue of participation in the partnership program, open flying will be awarded under Sections 9.I.4.e. and 12.Q.4.e.. These open flying requests will be ranked based on greatest time under maximum.

Can I take ANP, DAT or PTO if I am in a partnership?
Yes.

If awarded a move-up line, how does the partnership advise the Company how to designate which trip(s) we each fly?
The Company will call the senior partner, who selects which trips each partner will fly. Once both partners' lines are completed, the Company will utilize the normal means of notifying the other partner of the awarded move-up line.

Can I work a reserve block of days on at the beginning and at the end of the month?
Yes. Each partner must, however, work a minimum of two reserve blocks of days on with a minimum of eight (8) days on.

What if my partner and I only have three blocks of days on?
One partner will work two blocks of days on and one partner will work one block of days on. The partner working one block must choose the longest block.

Can I attend CQ as a partner?
Yes. Each partner bids for and attends CQ during her/his normal month(s). CQ is placed in the partner's individual line(s) as required and paid accordingly.

If I don't bid for CQ, will I be assigned if I'm a partner?
Yes, while participating in the partnership program flight attendants are required to attend CQ and will be assigned on days off according to CQ class availability if no bids are received by the Company.

Will additional partnerships be awarded during the partnership period?
A waiting list will be maintained of partnership requests. In the event additional partnerships are required, they will be awarded based on the seniority of the senior requesting partner.

Can I request a partnership after bids have been closed?
Partnership requests submitted after the close of partnership bids will be placed on the waiting list based on the seniority of the senior flight attendant in the request. A waitlist screen will be available in SkyNet after bids close.

What if we don't want to be on the waiting list for a partnership?
If you do not want your partnership request to be placed on the waiting list, do not check the waitlist box on the partnership bid form in SkyNet.

Can I remove a partnership request from the waiting list?
Yes. If you would like to remove your request from the waiting list, check the 'remove name from waitlist' box on the partnership bid form in SkyNet.

What if I failed to remove my partnership request and it was processed during the partnership period?
You will be responsible to fly as a partnership.

Will the fact that there is no monthly minimum affect the partnership?
Each partner is already below the seventy-one (71) hour minimum because each is restricted to maximum(s) of 46:00, 48:30, or 50:00 per month.

Each partner will, however, be guaranteed the value of the trips placed in her/his line of flying as well as trip(s) picked up in open flying and additional flight time credit resulting from trip trades, inbound flight(s) from the previous month, etc.

How are sick leave and occupational leave paid?
Both sick leave and occupational leave are paid to the partner who is ill or injured based on her/his individual line of flying during the month in which the illness or injury occurs.
If an occupational injury causes one partner to remain off work, the partnership will be dissolved. The remaining partner will, however, be permitted to form a new partnership provided the senior partner continues to have the same or greater seniority.

Will I be entitled to death in family (DIF) benefits?
Yes. Each partner is entitled to DIF benefits and will be paid according to her/his individual line of flying.

How will I be paid for Jury Duty?
Each flight attendant will be paid for Jury Duty based on her/his awarded line of flying.

If I participate in a partnership, what impact will the program have on my ability to use FMLA?
Participating in the partnership program will have no effect on how a partner uses FMLA. However, it may affect the accrual of hours toward FMLA eligibility.

If a partnership is suspended because of the need for specific language or purser qualifications, what would be the applicable monthly maximum for the awarded schedule?
A flight attendant who has had her/his partnership suspended for one of the above reasons, would be awarded a regular line of flying based on her/his seniority subject to the monthly maximums set forth in Sections 7.A.1, 7.A.8, 12.G.1, and 12.G.8.

Will I receive half of the difference to our reserve guarantee of 78:00 hours if I am already at my 50:00 hour maximum?
Yes. According to Section G.5, if the total of both partners' lines is less than 78 hours, the additional reserve guarantee hours will be divided equally between the partners.
In some cases it may not be possible to split reserve blocks into a total of 8 work days in each partner's schedule. How will these instances be handled?
In a 30-day schedule month, the distribution of 4 reserve blocks may result in one partner having two (2) blocks of reserve 'days on' totaling seven (7) days. (Reference G.2 of the LOA)

I would like to find another flight attendant with whom to form a partnership. Is there a way to post a request or to view a list of others who are looking for a partner?
Flight attendants can use the trade board in Unimatic to post preferences for a partnership and search for partners with similar preferences. To post preferences for a partnership, i.e. advertise for a partner, enter: POSTRD, and follow the prompts for 'Advertise For Partnership.' To search for partners, access the tradeboard by entering: TRDBRD/PART

I understand only the junior partner's bid will be considered for both primary and relief processes. What happens if only the senior partner bids?
Because only the junior partner's bid is considered, if no bid is on file in the junior partners bid screen, the award will follow the insufficient/no-bid logic (lowest line award number available) based on the junior partner's seniority.

Can flight attendants in a partnership place a request on file for 30 day ANP?
Yes. Partners may put a request on file for 30 day ANP. Before lines are split, both partners must place requests on file to be considered for the award of 30 day ANP. The request will be considered at the junior partner's seniority. If 30 day ANP is awarded before lines are split, both partners will be placed on 30 day ANP status. If only one partner places a request on file, 30 day ANP will not be awarded to the partnership and consideration of the individual request deferred until after the lines are split.
Once the awarded schedule is split between the partners, each partner would be considered individually for 30-day ANP, in the same manner as for daily ANP. Either partner desiring 30-day ANP should individually submit their own request in the normal manner.

What happens if one partner's vacation encompasses all the trips included in the awarded line of flying?
Pursuant to the LOA, Section I. 5, neither partner will have any trips assigned to his/her line. The partner with vacation can pick up trips outside the vacation period. The other partner can pick up trips any time in the month. Neither partner has a minimum and both partners are subject to the 46:00 hour flight time maximum, with the option of 48:30 or 50:00 flight time maximum.

What if my partnership is awarded a reserve line and one of us has vacation. For example, my vacation is September 1 – 10. The line has the first 6 days of the month on. Do those 6 days drop off the line, and the remainder of the days split between us?
The partner with the vacation will be assigned to all reserve blocks that fall within her/his vacation. This includes any block(s) that fall within and extend beyond the prescribed vacation. These days will count toward the total number reserve days in her/his line. The remaining reserve days will be distributed to each partner as determined by their Notification of Reserve Availability Days sent to Crew Schedule Planning, in accordance with the Letter of Agreement.

Can partners request to be added to the reserve move-up list after the line is split?
Partners may request a move-up line. If a move up line is awarded to the partnership, the award will be based on the junior partner's seniority. The senior partner must inform the Flight Attendant Support Team how the move up line will be split at the time of notification (H.8. of the Partnership LOA) in accordance with paragraph E.2. of the Partnership LOA.

When looking at a Line of Flying screen (DSPLOF), will there be any indication of a partnership?
Once the awarded line of flying has been split between the partners, each partner is responsible for his/her schedule; therefore it is not necessary to identify a line of flying for partners. The line of flying for a Flight Attendant in the partnership program will look different as the monthly maximum will be at 50 hours or less. The GAR for lineholders will be the value of the trips assigned in the line of flying at the time of the split. For Flight Attendants assigned a reserve line, the MIN will be the value of the number of reserve days times the daily reserve rate for the applicable schedule month.

When will the waitlist be considered?
For months 2 and 3 of the partnership period, there will be a monthly evaluation of manpower needs, and if warranted, awarding additional partnership requests on the wait list will be considered based on an overall evaluation of cost neutrality in the aggregate, and will be awarded at the seniority of the senior partner.

If the partnership program is continued beyond this upcoming round and I wish to continue in the partnership, do I have to re-bid for partnership?
Yes. Future partnership programs will require a new bid process. Future partnership programs may be considered based on base need and cost effectiveness of the program in the aggregate.

Can one partner opt while the other partner does not opt?
Yes, but not during the primary bid process. If the junior partner's LOFBID screen indicates the desire to opt, BOTH partners will be opted to that desired level. If not, the partner wishing to opt should do so AFTER lines have been awarded via trade, RDO, picking up open flying or by contacting Scheduling.

Once a reserve line has been split, how will each partner receive reserve assignments?
At the beginning of the month, in order to establish the reserve availability lists, flight attendants shall be placed in FIFO order, based on the scheduled arrival time of their last previous ID. For the remainder of the month, reserves shall progress within the availability lists on a credited flight time accrual basis. The reserve with the lesser accrued time being assigned first (TMAC).

If one or both partners have vacation during the month, are we eligible for a reserve move-up line of flying.
The 'partnership' is eligible to be awarded a reserve move-up line based on the combined vacation of the partners and consistent with the requirements of the Contract. If the total vacation in the partnership is less than seven days, the partnership is eligible for a pre-month move-up line. If the combined vacation of the partners exceeds seven days, the partnership is not eligible for a reserve move-up line until there are less than seven days of vacation in the remaining part of the month. At the point in the month where there are less than seven days of vacation remaining, the partnership is then eligible to be awarded a mid-month move-up line.

If one of the partners is required to be available for 12 days in a 30-day month (two blocks of six reserve days) where the value of the reserve days equals 52:00, what is the flight attendant's maximum for the month?
In this instance, it has been agreed the flight attendant's opted maximum will be 52:00.

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