Home > News > E-Lines: January 05, 2018

E-Lines: January 05, 2018

Date: January 5, 2018

Changes to International Flying Affecting pmCAL Language Bases

As the company makes plans to fly a fulsome summer schedule matching the right aircraft to the demand in a given market and Flight Attendant staffing, we will see a number of aircraft reassignments that will be phased in over the coming months. Regrettably, these changes will impact the language qualified Flight Attendants when specific language needs are no longer necessary as a result of the cessation of service or aircraft reassignment. AFA and the company share an interest in keeping Flight Attendants in their geographic base unless an option to do something different is exercised by the individual Flight Attendant.

 The full text of the announcement can be found on the MEC website. The following are the highlights of the upcoming changes:

Mandarin flying at LAX will end mid-February for pmCO and is not expected to return.

French flying at SFO will end in April for pmCO and is not expected to return.

French flying at IAD will end in April for pmCO and is not expected to return.

Hebrew flying at SFO will end in May for pmCO and is not expected to return.

Language Qualified Flight Attendants at LLS & SLS will transfer to the domestic domicile at their location effective as follows:

LLS – CAM - Transfer effective for the March schedule month.

SLS – FRE  - Transfer effective for the May schedule month

SLS – HBR – Transfer effective for the June schedule month.

Language qualified Flight Attendants who remain at their geographic location will retain a preferential right of return to the language base in the event the flying returns as a result of something unanticipated.

For non-language Flight Attendants at these international bases, flying will be balanced through an adjustment to six day (W) flying.

At WLS – FRE, the company will continue to assign a very limited amount of FRE flying that is anticipated to depart from EWR.

Finally, in order to accommodate the transfer of these language qualified Flight Attendants into the geographic locations, the company will process transfers to ensure the seniority protections for those senior to the most junior language qualified Flight Attendant who is transferred as a result of these flying changes.

Positive Space Travel for BOS and EWR/LGA Extended Through January 6, 2018

Severe weather continues to affect operations on the East Coast of the U.S. For this reason, the availability of positive space travel has been extended through January 6, 2018, for Flight Attendants commuting to/from BOS and EWR/LGA who are flying trips starting on Thursday, January 4, through Saturday, January 6, 2018.

Ensure your book your positive space travel and contact the FAST staff (1-800-358-5463, option 4, and then option 2) to authorize travel. Please ensure you are listing positive space versus space available. If seats are not initially available, it is recommended that you check availability at a later time as seats may become available.

Update on LHR Layover Hotel Issues

During this past week there have been many questions and much discussion on events that occurred at one of our layover hotels in Kensington, London during the New Year’s Day holiday. (For security reasons, we will not make reference to the specific hotel.) At the hotel there were two issues – a break in of several rooms at the hotel and a burst water pipe.

As a result of the burst water pipe, two rooms were affected on the floor where the break occurred and all the rooms on the floor below.  Crew were moved from the affected floor into rooms that had been earmarked for the early morning arrival of other United crews. As a result, there was a delay in getting crew members into their rooms while housekeeping worked to prepare the rooms for the arriving crew. The hotel, recognizing the unusual nature of the water pipe break, has acknowledged their obligation to have rooms available within the parameters established by the Contract and expressed appreciation for the understanding of those crew members who were inconvenienced. 

In terms of the break-in, our MEC Hotel & Transportation Committee has been in contact with the buyer for this property and has kept a very close watch on the events of this past week. Because the break-in was the subject of an ongoing police investigation, we were constrained from addressing the issue until advised we were permitted to do so.

The break-in issue was not isolated to a single hotel and is believed to have occurred during the late hours of New Year’s Eve at unoccupied rooms. In fact, it is suspected that a large criminal syndicate from Europe had targeted a number of hotels that evening as other hotels in the Kensington area were also impacted. Without commenting specifically on the security tools available to hotel management, hotel security and local authorities were successfully able to identify the one male individual who is suspected to be the culprit in the incident. Not a stranger to police, this individual has a warrant out for his arrest. 

Hotel security has no reason to believe a similar event will occur in the future. However, as a precaution, the hotel has beefed up their internal security and are adding security personnel to do additional floor patrols at the hotel.

It is important for us to be situationally aware. Despite the security measures required at each of our layover hotels, the reality is that these kinds of events occur. Where there is a will, there is a way. The elevators in this building are protected by a key card system. When moving from the lobby to our rooms, we should always use caution to ensure anyone who tries to ride the lift with us has the appropriate authority to do so. Always be aware of your surroundings and following the hotel safety tips on our website. If you have concerns while a guest in any hotel, never hesitate to call the front desk to report unusual activity or to request an escort if you are uncomfortable.

Reassignments – What’s the rule?

There are a number of circumstances which can cause us to lose all or part of our pairing/ID with weather being one of them. As a reminder, the Reassignment provisions of our JCBA have not as yet been implemented. Flight Attendants should be aware that all reassignments are to be addressed consistent with the terms of the scheduling provisions of the pre-merger agreement.   

pmCAL – Refer to Section 5.K. There are different parameters to follow if notice of loss of time occurs on the same calendar day as departure or if notice is one or more calendar days out. Further impacting Reassignments is whether or not a Severe Weather Action Plan (SWAP), as outlined in Section 5.K.2., is in effect.

pmUAL – Sections 8.J. for domestic and 12.I. in the international operation apply only when at your home domicile. Away from home, Sections 9.I. and 9.K apply for reassignments domestically, and 12.Q. and 12.R. for the international operation. Any reassignment must ensure you remain legal for your next scheduled assignment. The reassignment must also comply with legalities including 35-in-7 and 8:30-in-24 domestically; and 24-in-7 and 1-in-7 for both operations.  Additionally, any reassignment must fall within your monthly maximum.

If you have any questions please contact your Local Representatives.

Commuter Policy

Details of the Commuter Policy can be found in Section 28 of the JCBA. Specific circumstances under which a Flight Attendant may be unable to report for a scheduling assignment include:

  1. Un-forecasted severe weather conditions or other natural disasters (i.e., blizzards, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other similar events), or
  2. Hazardous or impassable roads resulting from severe weather, accidents, or natural disasters, or
  3. Mechanical problems while on the way to work, or
  4. Unexpected airport disruption(s) or closures

In order for a Flight Attendant commuting by air to utilize the Commuter Program there are a number of provisions which must be met.  Refer to Section 28 of our JCBA or the educational article on our MEC website.

Winter 2018 Regular Meeting of the Master Executive Council - January 16-18, 2018

The Winter 2018 Regular Meeting of the United Master Executive Council (MEC) will take place January 16-18, 2018, at the Hyatt Rosemont, 6350 N. River Rd., Rosemont, IL. Your Local Council President, joined by the15 other Local Council Presidents from around the system, will conduct the business of our Union and address the issues that are important to all of us. 

We encourage each Member to participate in the democratic process by joining us for the MEC meeting, especially those who may be in the Chicago area over these dates. The Meeting Agenda is posted on the United MEC website.

Complementary transportation is provided by the Hyatt Rosemont Hotel to and from O’Hare airport. The shuttle runs every 20 minutes and picks up at Door 1 from the Bus/Shuttle Center on Level 1 of the Main Parking Garage.  Complimentary parking is also available at the hotel.

Voluntary Supplemental Insurance Benefits Open Enrollment Begins January 15, 2018

New during this year’s open enrollment, all Flight Attendants will have the option to enroll in Voluntary Supplemental Insurance Benefits through one of two brokers, Design Benefits or National Group Protection (NGP). Beginning January 15, 2018, representatives from these brokers will be available in each domicile to answer questions and to enroll those interested in a variety of voluntary supplemental insurance plans which include:

  • Group Voluntary (Short Term) Disability Income
  • Critical Illness with Cancer
  •  Cancer Policy
  • Group Voluntary Accident Insurance
  • Group Hospital Indemnity Coverage
  •  Life Insurance

Open Enrollment Periods by Domestic Domicile


Open Enrollment Periods


1/15 – 1/16 and  
2/22 – 2/23


1/18 – 1/19 and 2/19 – 2/20

DCA (at IAD)

1/15 – 2/3 and 2/4 - 2/10


1/15 – 2/3 and 2/11 – 2/17


1/15 – 2/3 and 2/11 – 2/17


1/14 – 1/16


1/15 – 2/3 and 2/18 - 2/23


1/18 – 1/19 and 2/19


1/15 – 2/3 and 2/11 – 2/17


1/15 – 2/3 and 2/4 - 2/10


1/15 – 2/3 and 2/4 -2/10


In addition to the base visits by these representatives, there will be opportunities for Flight Attendants to enroll online and via telephone appointments with broker representatives.

Pre-payment of Full Year 2018 Union Dues & Discontinuation of Monthly Dues Deduction

During the last week of 2017 immediately following the President’s signature on the tax reform legislation, AFA worked on a methodology to allow for the pre-payment of the full (2018) year dues that would ensure Flight Attendants were able to avail themselves of the tax deduction on their 2017 income tax filing.  We communicated the procedure that needed to be completed by December 31, 2017 in order to do so.

We want to also provide an update on when monthly Union dues deductions will stop for those who took advantage of the opportunity.  It’s important that we have a common understanding that Union dues deducted each month are for the previous month’s dues obligation. January 2018 Union dues covers our December 2017 deduction.  For those who prepaid their Union dues, it is important to understand that the January 2018 deduction will still be withheld.  AFA Membership Services will be working to instruct United payroll to discontinue these monthly dues deductions effective as of February 1, 2018.  As prepayments are processed, United Payroll will be advised to discontinue the Dues Check Off (DCO) effective as of February 1, 2018. If you have additional questions, please contact your Local Council Office.  

Reminders and Quick Links

January 15       Voluntary Insurance Benefits Open Enrollment, Crew Room Visits Begin

January 16-18  Winter 2018 Regular Meeting of the United MEC

January 23       Bridge Loan Acceptance Deadline

January 31       Deadline to Apply for Union Plus Scholarship

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