United Airlines AFA MEC Website

Association of Flight Attendants-CWA United Master Executive Council

Surplus Updates

Date: July 2, 2014
Type: AFA Article

United management recently announced more definitive information on their intent to subject approximately 600 active Flight Attendants to Surplus at DEN, LAX and ORD.  This will have far reaching impact on both active and inactive Flight Attendants at these locations affecting those leaving the location as well as those remaining at the location.

Effective for the October 2014 schedule month, the 200 most junior active Flight Attendants each in DEN, LAX and ORD domiciles are subject to Surplus.  We recognize the surplus notice is raising a number of questions and we offer the following updates:

Submission of System Transfer Requests - Deadline
System Transfers will be processed tomorrow, July 3 and again on July 10.  All requests must be on file no later than 0900 Central time each transfer award day in order to be guaranteed consideration.

Note:  The Company will award all transfers on file at the time the “button is pressed.”  However, Flight Attendants should ensure their requests are on file by 0900 in order to be given full consideration.

Transfer Inhibits
Any LAX, DEN or ORD Flight Attendant who is currently inhibited from transferring (has a transfer inhibit on file as a result of previously rejecting a transfer) will have her/his transfer inhibit date removed to provide for participation in either the July 3 or July 10 system transfer award.

Effective Dates of System Transfers awarded on July 3 & 10
The effective date for the system transfers that will be awarded on July 3 & 10 will have an effective report date for the October 2014 Flight Attendant schedule month.  Management has indicated there is an opportunity to “advance” this report date for the September schedule month for those who would like to do so.

Individual Opportunity to Advance Report Date into September for October System Transfer Awards
If you are awarded a system transfer with an October 2014 effective date during the July 3 or 10 awards and are interested in reporting during the September schedule month, please send an e-mail to
rebalance@united.com no later than July 17.  Be sure to include your name, file number and domicile in this e-mail.

Unlimited Preferential Right of Return – Modifies Contractual 540 days
The question of recall rights has been a topic of consideration by all Flight Attendants affected by this action.  Our Contract in Section 22.J.4.a. provides for a 540 (five hundred forty ) day preferential right of return to the domicile from which surplus for the first opportunity.  As a result of our ongoing discussions with management, the Company and AFA have agreed that Flight Attendants deemed surplus at DEN, LAX & ORD for the October 2014 schedule month  will retain preferential recall rights to their former domicile. This applies whether the move from the surplus domicile was voluntary (through the system transfer process) or involuntary (through the surplus bid process).  Flight Attendants shall retain a preferential right of return indefinitely.   If a voluntarily transfer to some other domicile is exercised, recall rights to the original domicile are cancelled.

Flight Attendants on Voluntary Furlough Status
Additional questions have been received in our offices regarding the ability of Flight Attendants currently on Voluntary Furlough to participate in the System Transfer processes on July 3 and 10.  Consistent with other Contractual System Transfer awards, participants must be eligible to transfer.    Flight Attendants on Voluntary Furlough with a return to work date later than transfer effective date are not eligible to participate.  However, all Flight Attendants at the surplus location who have not previously been awarded a System transfer are eligible and encouraged to submit bids in the Surplus Bid Award that will occur the end of July.  Flight Attendants who fail to participate in in either the two System Transfer awards or the Surplus Bid Transfer (July 29) will be awarded a new domicile based on company operational need.

Emergency Transfers
Section 22.I. of our Contract provides a mechanism for Flight Attendants to request consideration of an alternate domicile location for personal reasons due to hardship.  This process requires the mutual agreement of the Managing Director of Labor Relations and the MEC President/designee and clearly contemplates that the Flight Attendant is assigned to one location and is requesting consideration to transfer to another location for a specific personal hardship.    What must be clear is that an Emergency Transfer cannot be used to “insulate” anyone from the surplus provisions of the Contract.    Flight Attendants subject to involuntary surplus – meaning “required to leave the domicile” may not elect to use Emergency Transfers to avoid submitting a Surplus Transfer Bid.    If subject to surplus, you must participate in order to determine the location to which you are assigned as a result of the surplus.

However, once at the location, you may submit a request for an emergency transfer that will be mutually reviewed by Labor Relations and AFA for full consideration.  However, it should not be misinterpreted that every request will be approved.  Individuals requesting this consideration must demonstrate the hardship to company and Union representatives in order for the transfer to be awarded.  Emergency Transfer requests for those subject to surplus will not be considered until after the Surplus Bid Process is completed and it is known that individuals have actually been transferred to alternate locations.

Section 22.J.4.a. provides for specific pass travel entitlements during the one hundred eighty (180) day period following any surplus.  During this time, Flight Attendants are to be provided unlimited non-revenue space available business passes  and two (2) round trip non-revenue positive space business passes per month for travel between the domicile to which transferred and the former domicile.

We are aware that the company’s publication indicates an SA1P or “personal travel pass” boarding priority for these non-revenue space available tickets.  We believe this is in error and are currently in discussion with Labor Relations seeking clarification on the correct boarding priority to reflect the “business” non-revenue boarding priority that should be applicable.

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