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E-Lines: November 07, 2017

Date: November 7, 2017

747 Takes Final Flight Today

Last March, management announced that the revered Boeing 747 aircraft, our “Queen of the Skies”, would be retired from our fleet by the end of 2018. Today, November 7, 2017, she made her final flight in style. Inspired by the original flight from the 1970’s, this distinguished aircraft, unique to the industry and an integral part of our airline’s very identity, took-off from San Francisco International Airport staffed with fifteen Flight Attendants based in Honolulu and additional Flight Attendants fitted in retro uniforms, recreated 1970’s menu items and entertainment. The final flight was filled with United employees, retirees and passengers, all in attendance to bid her a heartfelt farewell.

 AFA Salutes 747 ‘Queen of the Skies’

Questions on Pay Methodology Harmonization

On October 25, the company sent letters to all pmCAL and pmCMI Flight Attendants advising them of an upcoming change to the methodology of how they will be paid for a month of flying. This change will result in all Flight Attendants being paid through the same payroll methodology.

Currently, pmCAL Flight Attendants are paid for a month of flying over 3 paychecks (16th + 1st + 16th).  With the upcoming implementation of Section 3.B.B. of our JCBA, and effective with the February 16, 2018, paycheck, we will all be paid for a month of flying over 2 paychecks (1st + 16th).

The New Methodology

Beginning with the February 16, 2018, paycheck and for all Flight Attendants, the 1st of the month check will be an advance based on the projected hours of flying for the prior month as of the 20th of the month prior. The 16th paycheck will be calculated based on the total value of the prior month’s flying, less the advance from the 1st of the month, plus per diem, premium pay, add pay and any other adjustments.

Calculating the Advance

The March 1st paycheck is calculated at up to 70% of base monthly pay for the February schedule month, based on the following table:

Advance is up to 70% of base monthly pay (71:00)

The advance is calculated using projected hours as of the 20th of the month:

50 hours or more -70% x 71 hours = 49.70 hours

30:00 – 49:59 hours - 35% x 71 hours = 24.85 hours

Less than 30:00 hours - No advance

The March 16th paycheck is total earnings for February, less the advance from the March 1st check, plus per diem, premiums, add pay and any other adjustments.

This change will go into effect for pmCAL Flight Attendants effective with their February 16th paycheck.  As of that date, the 25-hour advance pay traditionally paid on the 16th of the month will be paid as part of the 1st of the following month’s check.

United Offers a Bridge Loan Option

As United has done with other work groups when making a pay methodology transition, the company is offering pmCAL Flight Attendants an optional Bridge Loan to minimize any possible disruption to their budgeting or financial planning.

The Bridge Loan Payment is an optional, one time, interest-free, tax-free payment to you, from United, that will be paid on the February 16, 2018, paycheck. To take advantage of this Bridge Loan, Flight Attendants must sign up. The election period for pmCAL Flight Attendants to sign up will begin on November 15, 2017.

Highlights of the Bridge Loan

  • The bridge Loan Payment will be 25 hours of your base rate of pay of your February 16, 2018, paycheck


  • The period to sign up for the Bridge Loan Payment opens on November 15, 2017, and closes January 23, 2018.
  • , Participation is optional and not automatic. If you do not request the Bridge Loan Payment, you will not receive the 25 hours


  • Repayment will begin April 1, 2018, and be repaid in 10 equal installments from each paycheck beginning April 1, 2018

Additional information about the Bridge Loan will be coming soon through a One United Publication this month.  Details, including examples, will be provided to assist in answering any questions you may have.

Second Round Vacation Bidding is Now Open through November 16, 2017.

As a reminder, Flight Attendants who did not to bid in the first round vacation bidding were not awarded any vacation. All accrued vacation time will be available for bid during the second round of vacation bidding.  To access myVacation under Bidding, sign into CCS.   During Second Round Vacation bidding, all vacation will be awarded. For those who do not bid or who bid insufficiently, vacations will be assigned to open vacation periods in seniority order from December backwards through January after all Second Round awards have been processed.

To review the process for vacation bidding options, prior to round two, visit Unitedafa.org or utilize Vacation Booklet #2. Direct questions to your Local Council or a member of the Vacation Team.

Hotel Selection Process

Our JCBA covers the process and standards set forth in providing safe, clean and quiet lodging for us on our layovers.  Standard hotel contracts with United, are typically of a multi-year duration at which point they are evaluated by United based on market conditions.  In some cases, hotel contracts are renewed, while in other cases, new hotels are selected based on economic or other factors.

Both United and AFA have agreed upon Hotel Standards that have to be met and both the company and Union follow a process for inspection, approval and renewal. For Flight Attendants, our criteria are clearly spelled out in our JCBA (page 330-333).  For the company, the driving forces are economics, availability, or whether any particular hotel, based on their own criteria, wishes to continue its relationship with United.

In our second year following ratification of our JCBA, many hotel contracts around the world, including cities such as Boston, are being reviewed for renewal and, in some cases, replacement with other hotels. As we all know sometimes a change in hotels is welcome, but other times we may miss the location or amenities associated with a particular hotel.  Moving forward as we continue to implement our JCBA, we can expect to see additional changes, including some layover hotels locations as the normal contract evaluation process moves forward.

Tumi® Luggage Size Clarification

We’ve begun to receive a number of questions and concerns questioning if the new Tumi luggage items are larger than the standard United luggage policy allows. It is important to know that TUMI has always measured their bags to include all appendages (i.e., handles, wheels, etc.) which tends to add inches to the standard luggage frame. While testing, your MEC Uniform Committee raised these concerns. United and TUMI both tested the rollaboards and approved accessories and confirmed to the Uniform Committee that these items will not only fit down the aisle of all of our aircraft, but also in the overhead bins. 

United’s luggage program team is prepared to answer questions specific to our United luggage program. If you have any questions about the program please send them directly to tumiluggage@united.com.

Update LINK to IOS 11.1

Flight Attendants are now authorized to update Link's operating system to iOS 11.1. and should do by November 20, 2017, in order to be in full compliance. Step by step requirements and installation guidelines are available via the Inflight Services Alert publication dated, November 6, 2017. If updating from iOS 10.3.3 the update should only take about 30 minutes, whereas up to 90 minutes will be required if upgrading from an older version.

For questions, contact the Link Support team at (800) 255-5801, option 1, option 3 or see the Link staff at your base.

National Mediation Board Confirms New Members

Today, the Senate confirmed the Members of the National Mediation Board (NMB) in Washington D.C.  

The NMB consists or three Members charged with overseeing Collective Bargaining and representation under the Railway Labor Act (RLA), which provides employees in the aviation industry the right to organize and bargain collectively.

The Association of Flight Attendants congratulates the following newly confirmed Members of National Mediation Board (NMB) who were nominated by President Donald Trump, Kyle Fortson and Gerald Fauth.  In addition, we applaud the re-confirmation of the Association of Flight Attendants – CWA, former President Linda Puchala. We look forward to working with each Member as their knowledge provides the necessary foundation for future Collective Bargaining at airlines under the (RLA).

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