United Airlines AFA MEC Website

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA United Master Executive Council

Flight Attendant 2014 Involuntary Surplus Q&A

Date: June 27, 2014
Type: United Airlines

PDF Version

Please note:  United has not yet completed their Transfer and Moving information packet.  Once it has been completed we will make it available

  1. What does it mean to be surplus?
    We have put together a Contract Education Did You Know? that you can find on our United MEC website. (www.unitedafa.org)
  2. When the company announces a surplus exists at my domicile location, what is my status?
    That depends on your seniority.  As provided in Section 22.J., in the event a surplus of Flight Attendants exists at any domicile, the company may move any Flight Attendants at that domicile, who desire to move, in order of seniority from the domicile at which the surplus exists or, if none desire to move, the company may then move the surplus Flight Attendants out of such domicile, to other domiciles, in inverse order of seniority. The surplus notice will enable you to determine if your seniority is affected.
  3. What is the process?
    A surplus exists when the company has posted notice of the surplus on the Flight Attendant bulletin board at the affected domicile(s), and all domiciles on the system.

    • The notice is posted no fewer than forty-five (45) days before the effective date of report to a new domicile and includes the vacancies available for placement across the system.
    • The notice will state the number of vacancies, the location of the vacancies, the place where bids are to be sent including the last date, or deadline, by which they must be received.  You will be given a minimum of fifteen (15) days after the notice is posted to submit a bid.
    • Flight Attendants deemed to be affected by the surplus are permitted to put a normal transfer bid on file for all domiciles on the system.
    • Following the deadline date posted in the notice of surplus, the company will begin processing system transfers on a seniority basis.  Transfers will be processed to the vacancies posted in the surplus notice up to the posted surplus number.  This process is completed within fifteen (15) days.  
    • If you are based at the affected domicile, and awarded a transfer during this process, you will be considered voluntarily surplussed and all surplus rights, including a paid relocation will apply.
    • At the end of the fifteen (15) days allowed for processing transfers, the company will then process transfers filed by Flight Attendants deemed to be surplus, which have not yet been processed, to vacancies posted in the surplus notice or to vacancies resulting from transfer activity.  At this point, you would be involuntarily surplussed.
    • Any Flight Attendant transferring to fill such a vacancy shall be available to begin the assignment on the date set by the company, which shall not be less than fifteen (15) days from the date notified of the domicile assignment.
  4. What are my rights to return to my current domicile ?
    Any Flight Attendant who is considered as surplused to another domicile has the right to return to her/his former domicile at the first opportunity a vacancy occurs at their previous domicile.
  5. During the system transfer process, what are my choices of domiciles?
    You may bid for any domicile. However, transfers will likely only be processed to those domiciles listed in the surplus notice unless vacancies open up during the transfer process.
  6. How many bid choices will Flight Attendants be able to submit?
    During the system transfer process you may bid a maximum of two (2) domiciles (Section 22.A.1).  Following the system transfer, if you are based at one of the domiciles where the surplus has been declared you may bid on any and all of the domiciles identified as available for transfer, which will include any vacancies created as a result of the system transfer. In addition, you will be able to express a bid to "remain" at your current location.
  7. If enough active people senior to me volunteer to be surplussed, will I still be involuntarily surplussed?
    No, consistent with other surpluses, only the required number of active Flight Attendants will be surplussed.
  8. How will I be notified of my domicile award?
    System transfer awards will be posted as normal. Vacancies for Surplus bids will be posted in the affected domiciles and a separate Unimatic screen (REBAL/File number) will be used for the Surplus bid.
  9. What happens if I am awarded a transfer during the system transfer process?
    After the notice of surplus has been posted, Flight Attendants who are based at the affected domiciles, and who are awarded a voluntary transfer as a result of the surplus, will be considered as transferred at company request.  Moving expenses shall be paid by the company (in accordance with Section 24 of the Agreement) to the new domicile.
  10. What happens if a domicile I bid for has no openings?
    You cannot be awarded a transfer to a domicile that does not have openings.
  11. What happens if my choice of domicile is filled before my bid is considered, or I fail to bid?
    You will be assigned to a domicile based on your seniority, the availability of remaining domicile vacancies, and where the company needs you most.  Bid all locations offered in preference order and please ensure you make adequate choices for your seniority.
  12. I'm on V oluntary F urlough or a Leave of Absence. What should I be doing?
    Flight attendants impacted by the October 2014 Surplus/Base Reduction on who are on Voluntary Furlough and Leave of Absence will receive written notification, sent by Federal Express to their address of record.

    If your domicile seniority is within the range of those to be surplussed, you should bid for openings as part of the involuntary surplus process and you will report to the new domicile at the end of your voluntary furlough or Leave of Absence.

    If you fail to bid, you will be assigned based on your seniority to a remaining base vacancy and where the company needs you most.  You will report to the new base at the end of your voluntary furlough or Leave of Absence.
  13. I'm on involuntary furlough.  What should I be doing?
    Flight A ttendants impacted by the October 2014 Base Surplus/Reduction on involuntary furlough will not receive written notification.  If recalled you will be recalled to a domicile where vacancies exist at the time of recall.
  14. I'm on Occupational Sick Leave/Illness Leave of Absence. What should I be doing?
    If your seniority is within the range of those to be surplussed, you should bid for the involuntary surplus vacancies and you would report to the new domicile once you are able to return to work.

    If you fail to bid, you will be assigned a domicile based on your seniority to a remaining domicile vacancy and where the company needs you most. You would report to your new domicile once you are able to return to work.
  15. How are Flight Attendants on an emergency transfer affected?
    If you are on emergency transfer from a domicile at which a surplus exists and your seniority is within the range of those to be surplussed, you should bid for the involuntary surplus vacancies, and you would report to the new domicile upon the conclusion of your emergency transfer.

    If you fail to bid, you will be assigned a base based on your seniority to a remaining base vacancy and where the company needs you most. You would report to your new domicile at the conclusion of your emergency transfer.
  16. Will my moving expenses still be paid if I delay moving until after I return from Voluntary Furlough/Occupational Sick Leave/Illness Leave of Absence?
    The move must be completed within twelve (12) months of the effective date of the new assignment, as provided for in Section 24.B.2., to be eligible for expense reimbursement.
  17. Do I qualify for moving expenses if I am surplussed?
    Yes.  The moving expenses set forth in Section 24 of the Agreement shall be paid to Flight Attendants who, at company request, change geographic locations. Please see United's Transfer and Moving information for further details when it is available.
  18. Does my relocation have to be to the new domicile to receive a paid move?
    Yes.  You must relocate your permanent residence to the defined geographic area of your new domicile.  Please see United's Transfer and Moving information for further details when it is available.
  19. How can I ship personal and household effects?
    You will be entitled to moving expenses connected with the shipping of personal and household effects as long as you relocate your permanent residence to the defined geographic area of the new base and the shipping is completed within twelve (12) months of the effective date of the new assignment. As set forth in the Contract, COMAT is available for up to 750 lbs on a space available basis.
  20. Am I entitled to settling time?
    Yes. If you are actually moving from your current residence to a new residence, you will be permitted to use up to three (3) days paid settling time.  The move and associated settling time can take place anytime within 12 months after the effective date of the award.  

    After you report to the new domicile, you must contact your (new) supervisor to request the settling time. The company may delay such time not more than seven (7) days based on the needs of operational service.

    The settling days must be consecutive, so they may include scheduled days off and you must be involved in relocation related activities, such as attending a closing, arranging for hook-up of utilities, or moving furnishings to the new residence. The company may require proof that a move either has or will take place. Using settling time for any other purpose will result in discipline, up to and including termination.
  21. Will I receive a mileage allowance if I am driving to the new domicile?
    Please see United's Transfer and Moving information for further details when it is available.
  22. Will storage be provided?
    Please see United's Transfer and Moving information for further details when it is available.
  23. Will I be reimbursed for other expenses related to the move?
    Yes.  Please see United's Transfer and Moving information for further details when it is available.
  24. What travel time and expenses are allowed?
    Please see United's Transfer and Moving information for further details when it is available.
  25. Will Flight Attendants who are married to each other/registered domestic partners each be eligible to receive paid moving benefits?
    No.  Paid moving benefits are based on moving a single residence to a single location. Therefore, spouses/registered domestic partners moving from one single residence to another single residence only qualify for one set of moving benefits.  However, Flight Attendants in this situation are eligible for individual pass benefits and COMAT.
  26. How do I claim my expenses?
    Please see United's Transfer and Moving information for further details when it is available.
  27. What if I relocate, and three (3) months later decide to move back and commute to my new domicile?
    To qualify for a paid move, you must maintain your new permanent residence for six (6) months.  Otherwise, all expenses must be repaid to United.
  28. What happens to my monthly guarantee when I report to my new domicile?
    A Flight Attendant who is involuntarily transferred is eligible for her/his normal monthly guarantee as existed in their line at the time of their bid award.
  29. Is the paid move to the new domicile or to the location of the Flight Attendant's choice?
    The paid move is limited to the defined geographic area of the new domicile.  Moving anywhere else is at the employee's expense.
  30. What happens if my last ID in September 2014 overlaps into the October 2014 schedule month?
    Consistent with other transfers, you will be removed from the September trip that overlaps into October.  You will be expected to report to your new domicile for the start of the October schedule, and will be provided travel time to your new location.  Line Guarantee/Reserve Minimum is retained for this transfer.
  31. What happens to my vacation(s) scheduled for the remainder of 2014?
    Your vacation will be honored at your new domicile.
  32. If I go house hunting, but decide to commute instead of move, will I be reimbursed for my expenses?
    No. In order to have your expenses reimbursed, you must actually relocate.
  33. If awarded a subsequent transfer within the twelve-month period, would I be able to use any unused paid move benefits?
    No, once your paid move benefits begin, you must meet the paid move requirements to that geographic area.
  34. Who handles items that will be sent COMAT?
    You are responsible for packing, delivery, drop off/pickup at Air Freight, and unpacking COMAT if it is not used as your primary relocation means.
  35. Can COMAT go to a new permanent residence if you are not using any other means of moving your personal belongings?
    Yes. But, it can only be sent to the nearest online station. See the Transfer and Moving information for more details.
  36. Can I rent furniture while waiting for mine to arrive, and expense the cost?
    No, you would not be reimbursed. You may want to consider using COMAT for some furniture items, until your remaining household goods arrive.
  37. What will be the status of my medical/dental benefit changes if I relocate after open enrollment?
    If your current plan is available no changes are required. If your relocation is to an area where your current HMO or DHMO coverage is not available your coverage will default to the Traditional medical and dental plan or you can elect an HMO (if available) at your new location. Once your change of address is processed, benefits information is automatically sent to the address on file with United. You will have 45 days to make benefit changes.
  38. Are only s-UA Flight Attendants being surplussed?
    No, both sUA and sCO have domcile/base imbalances.  Each subsidiary will be addressed in accordance with their CBA.
  39. Will the Reserve letters be adjusted as a result of the surplus?
    Once the surplus process is complete the company and Union will evaluate the need to evaluate Reserve letters.
  40. After reporting to my new domicile, will I be inhibited from placing transfers on file for the next six (6) months as provided for in Section 22.A.3.
    No.  The six (6) month restriction will be waived for surplussed Flight Attendants and you may immediately place a transfer bid on file.  Keep in mind that a voluntary transfer to another domicile prior to being recalled to the domicile from which you were surplussed will waive your recall rights.

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