Home > News > E-Lines: November 06, 2018

E-Lines: November 06, 2018

Date: November 6, 2018

AFA Fights Airline Staffing Cuts

United on Monday announced it will reduce service by pre-plating meals on the ground and eliminate a Flight Attendant position on certain international widebody flights beginning February 2019, to “align” with staffing levels at American and Delta.  

This decision was made after months of effort during which United management claims they “listened to our customers and analyzed our competitors’ staffing levels.”  United will match the staffing level on aircraft operated by Delta Air Lines and American Air Lines, along with removing one Flight Attendant in the economy cabin on international 757 routes “to operate more efficiently to align with our peers.”

But let’s not lose sight of what this entire initiative is all about. Short-term gain for Wall Street with billions in stock buybacks funded on our backs. We are an airline, not a hedge fund.  Rather than matching the staffing level of our competitors on these aircraft, we should set an industry standard that makes it impossible for them to compete with United. We should be driving the highest standards today.

Since the release of our Special E-lines last evening, Flight Attendants and customers alike are asking, “What can I do to help?”  AFA is working to build a coalition of supporters including passengers, other Unions and Flight Attendants who will work together to persuade management to take an alternate course of action - the course of action that has been taken until now. That is, to fight against the reductions of our peers and set an industry standard second to none.

We must stand together.  Wear your AFA pin and let the company know you support the message from your Union.  Be prepared to participate in the solidarity actions your MEC is planning in support of this issue.  We must show management we are United in our conviction that reduced staffing means fewer Flight Attendants to observe odd behavior, identify intoxicated passengers, resolve issues at boarding, and de-escalate conflict between passengers. It means fewer Flight Attendants to respond to medical emergencies, back each other up with aggressive passengers, maintain a safe space for everyone, and follow through on addressing any issues of sexual assault or hostile situations. It means not having the time to provide the customer service so many enjoy giving and that our customers have come to expect.

Staffing is about safety and service - we can’t accept the lowest level in either case.

Secondary (Round Two) Vacation Bids Open November 8 – 16, 2018  

Secondary (Round Two) Vacation bidding will open on Thursday, November 8, 2018. Flight Attendants will have until November 16, 0800 (HDT) to submit their second round vacation bids. Awards will be posted no later than November 20, 2018 AT 0800 (HDT).

Vacation Time Line

Open Date and Time

Close Date and Time

Posting Date

Second Vacation

November 8 0800 (HDT)

November 16 0800 (HDT)

November 20 0800 (HDT)

Flight Attendants submit their secondary vacation bids using the same process as first round vacation bids utilizing your remaining vacation days. 

Additionally, the following vacation options can be utilized during the secondary bid process. Click on the title listed below for detailed information on each option.

Crossing Months Option       Date Slide Option       Fewer Days Option

Flight Attendants who did not bid in the first round will be required to bid all their allotted days during the second round.  If a Flight Attendant does not submit a vacation bid in the second round of bidding, she/he will automatically be assigned a vacation. Keep in mind, during the second round, should you elect to reduce days, any remaining un-awarded days will be added to the final vacation bid period during the second round of bidding.

NOTEKeep in mind, the vacation you are automatically assigned will be after the second-round vacation awards have been completed for all Flight Attendants submitting a bid. The assigned vacation will be made in seniority order starting from December backward through January, with the largest block of days being assigned first.

Please reference our Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement, Section 12 or the 2019 Vacation Guidefor additional details.  Questions can be directed to Vacation Team at (U.S.): 1-800-FLT-LINE (options 5, 1). 

Phone Numbers




Hong Kong






Team Days/Hours: Monday – Friday: 0830 to 1700 Central Time Email: 

Second Round Vacation Allocations Now Available

Vacation allocation tables located in CCS, by domicile, have been updated as of today and now display the updated vacation allocations to be used for Round Two vacation bidding which opens on November 8, 2018.

Vacation Fly Through – Advance Notice & Operational Fly through

Given the recent move to a common scheduling platform, effective October 1st there was a new Vacation Fly through option that became available to those Flight Attendants previously working under the pmUA Contract.  In addition, there were changes on how the Vacation Fly through options now work for Flight Attendants who were working under the pmCAL & CMI Contracts.

There are two types of Vacation Fly Through. For purposes of this publication we will refer to the two types as Advance Notice Fly Through & Operational Fly Through.

Advance Notice Fly Through requires notice to the company of you intent to fly through a vacation period in a future month.  In order to avail yourself of this opportunity, you must advise the company no later than 10:00AM (HDT) on the fifth (5th) day of the calendar month prior to the month in which the vacation is scheduled. For example, to fly through a July vacation, you must notify the company no later than 10:00AM (HDT) on June 5th. This Advance Notice Fly Through is available to all Flight Attendants without regard to the pre-merger Contract under which you are scheduled. 

Lineholders choosing to fly through a vacation period and who notify the company prior to the fifth (5th) day of the month are obligated to fly any and all pairings that fall within the designated vacation period, unless their schedule is altered through the process of trading or dropping the scheduled pairings within the vacation period. Flight Attendants opting in advance to fly though their vacation currently have no restrictions when picking-up trips; the trips may be picked up from Open Time, from other Flight Attendants (advertisements) or mutually traded.

A Reserve who chooses to fly during her/his scheduled vacation period shall be paid the value of each vacation day (3:15) in addition to the greater value of their Reserve guarantee or hours flown.

Operational Fly Through occurs when a Flight Attendant elects to fly through her/his vacation after schedules for a given month have been awarded and even during the current schedule month. Effective October 1, 2018, this option became available to Flight Attendants who were previously flying under the pmUA Contract.

 OurJCBA Section 12.I.4 outlines the process by which Flight Attendants utilizing the “operational” Fly Through option will be limited to picking-up trips from other Flight Attendants within the vacation period unless otherwise permitted by the company.  The picking up only from other Flight Attendants unless otherwise permitted by the company is a change for those Flight Attendants previously flying under the pmCAL & CMI Contracts.

In all cases, Flight Attendants can utilize the operational Fly Through provision by contacting Crew Scheduling and requesting to fly through their vacation. 

When flying through a vacation period, advance or operational, Flight Attendants are taking pay in lieu of vacation and no actions affecting the scheduled flight activities during the vacation period will affect the value of the vacation. If a Flight Attendant chooses to fly (through) during their vacation period, by requesting a Vacation Fly Through, they will be paid the value of any trip/trips they fly during the vacation period, plus their vacation pay at 3:15 per vacation day. If a Flight Attendant elects to Fly Through their vacation, but does not fly a trip during the scheduled vacation time, they will be paid for the value of the scheduled vacation days.

Additional information on Vacation Fly Through, including step-by-step instruction on how to submit a request, may reference the 2019 Vacation Guide which is available on our website, unitedafa.org.

Reserves Returning from Sick Leave (Section 8.F.4.) 
MEC Reserve Committee

In this article, we clarify the assignment procedures specific to Flight Attendants who are on Reserve and are returning from Sick Leave prior to a day of availability. As a reminder, once on Sick Leave, Flight Attendants remain on rolling Sick Leave status until they call to take themselves off Sick Leave.

Flight Attendants not based in GUM must call the FAST team to return from Sick Leave status. (GUM based Flight Attendants must call GUM Crew Scheduling.) Depending on when the Flight Attendant calls off Sick Leave relative to the Reserve Preferencing assignment process, a separate call to Crew Scheduling may be necessary in order to receive her/his Reserve assignment for the following day:

  • If a Reserve calls off sick leave prior to 1600 HDTon the day prior to a day of availability, she/he will be given an assignment through the preferencing system or during the post-preferencing clean-up process and the assignment will be made available via the 1930 automated communication system and online system. (A separate call to Crew Scheduling is not required.)
  • If a Reserve calls off sick leave between 1600 HDT and 1930 HDTon the day prior to a day of availability, she/he will be given an assignment as part of the post-preferencing process via the 1930 automated communication system and online system. (In the event there is no assignment given via the automated means, the Reserve should contact Crew Scheduling to verify her/his assignment.)
  • If a Reserve calls off sick leave after 1930 HDT and up to 2400 HDTon the day prior to a day of availability, a separate call to Crew Scheduling is required and an assignment will be given at the time of the call.(The assignment may be to a pairing, Standby, Ready Reserve, or Release.)
  • A Reserve calling off sick leave any time after 2400 HDTon a day of availability will be considered on sick leave for the calendar day.

    If you have additional questions, please contact your Local Council office.

Bonus Point Credit - Fourth of July Holiday & Transition to Common Metal – Incentive Program

As a reminder, the one point credit for the combined period for the July 4th holiday season and the transition to common metal period should, as of October 31st, appear in the work history of those Flight Attendants who qualified for this credit. The conditions required to earn this attendant bonus point included the following:

  • The Flight Attendant was on active status during the entire designated Fourth of July holiday period (July 1 – July 7, 2018) and the entire designated transition to common metal period (September 27, 2018 – October 8, 2018.)
  • The Flight Attendant works a segment and/or stands Reserve at least once during both periods covering July 1 -7, 2018 and September 27, 2018 – October 8, 2018, local domicile/base time.
  • The Flight Attendant generates zero attendance points as defined in Section 23.F.1. of the 2016- 2021 JCBA during both periods – July 1 – 7, 2018 and September 27, 2018 – October 8, 2018.
  • A Flight Attendant on an Attendance Warning 4 at the time the credit is issued on October 31, 2018 will not be eligible for the one point credit.

If you believe you qualified for this credit and do not see it posted in your work history, please contact your Supervisor for clarification and assistance.

United Airlines – First North American Airline to Welcome the 787-10 to its Fleet 

As of yesterday, United took delivery of our first 787-10 and became the only airline in the world to have the entire family of 787-8, 787-9 and 787-10 Dreamliners in our fleet. The 787-10 model will be configured with 44 United Polaris® Business class, 21 United® Premium Plus Seats, 59 Economy Plus and 199 standard Economy seats.

The aircraft, expected to enter service on January 7, 2019, will operate initially between Los Angeles and Newark, NJ. and is the first of fourteen aircraft United expects to take delivery on from Boeing.

Christmas Holiday – Absence Certificate for Sick Calls & Holiday Bonus Point Credit

As required by the language in Section 13.C.4. of our JCBA, management has advised AFA of their intent to require an Absence Certificate for all sick calls originating during the Christmas holiday period which is defined under the terms of the JCBA as encompassing December 20, 2018 – January 4, 2019. The contractual exception is for those Flight Attendants who have had no absences in the prior twelve (12) calendar months. Those meeting this criteria are not subject to the Absence Certificate requirement imposed during this holiday period.

At the same time, Inflight management has agree to supplement the language in Section 23.F. of the JCBA and will provide Flight Attendants with the opportunity to earn a one point credit during the holiday season under the following circumstances:

  • The Flight Attendant must be on active status the entire designated holiday period [as defined in the Holiday Incentive 2018 – 2019 Letter of Agreement]
  • The Flight Attendant works a flight segment or stands Reserve during the period of December 13, 2018 – January 7, 2019, local domicile/base time.
  • The Flight Attendant generates zero attendance points as defined in Section 23.F.1. of the 2016- 2021 JCBA during this same December 13, 2018 – January 7, 2019 time period.

The one point credit will offset the first point generating occurrence after January 7, 2019.

Holiday Periods Defined by Program

Designated Holiday Period

Effective Dates of Holiday Period

Absence Certificate Required for Absences

December 20, 2018 – January 4, 2019

Holiday Bonus Point Earned for Attendance

December 13, 2018 – January 7, 2019


If you have additional questions, please contact your Local Council office.

Keep Layover Hotel Information Confidential 
MEC Safety Health and Security Committee
MEC Hotel & Transportation Committee

Your MEC Hotel & Transportation and MEC Safety Health & Security Committees would like to remindFlight Attendants about the importance of keep our layover hotel and transportation service information confidential. Do not “check-in” or post layover hotel locations on any social media network or provide hotel information to anyone who might ask (even what may appear to be a simple innocent inquiry from a passenger). Flight Attendants utilizing layover hotel facilities, nearby restaurants or attractions are cautioned to never mention our hotels by name or reference a location in the presence of strangers or employees of a facility. Flight Attendants are encouraged to review the layover safety tips available on unitedafa.org. 

Addressing our layover safety and security is the number one priority for our United MEC Hotel and Transportation Committee. If you experience an incident at a layover hotel that potentially compromises your safety, be sure to document the event by visiting the forms page, located on our website. Reporting issues allows AFA to have the necessary data to address and resolve the situation as soon as possible. Remember, if necessary contact the local authorities for any assistance. 

Continental Retirement Plan (CARP) Beneficiary Requirement – Domestic Partner Affidavit
MEC Benefits Committee

As a reminder for those who are eligible for benefits under the Continental Airlines Retirement Plan (CARP) and who have either a same or opposite sex domestic partner, you must certify your domestic partner as a beneficiary under the plan in order for your partner to be eligible for benefits in the event of your death.

We have become aware that not everyone having a domestic partner and eligible for benefits under CARP understands the process by which her/his domestic partner is certified as a beneficiary requires the submission of an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership that is specific to the plan.  Some people believe, mistakenly, that if they have registered a domestic partner with the corporation (United) they have met the requirement for registration under CARP.  This is not an accurate assumption. 

To register your domestic partner under CARP, it is a three (3) part process.

1.    Notify the United Airlines Benefits Center at 1 800 651 1007.  (Mon – Fri 7AM – 7PM CT)

2.    Complete and notarize the CARP Affidavit of Domestic Partnership which can be obtained from the company’s website at the following link: https://ft.ual.com/employee-services.  Mail or FAX the completed & notarized Affidavit to the address or FAX line on the form.

3.    Once documentation is reviewed and approved, your domestic partner will be designated as the CARP beneficiary.  A confirmation notice will be sent to you.

If you have additional questions, please contact the United Benefits Center for assistance.

Out-of-Base Parking Harmonization 
JCBA Section 3.T.

The company has recently announced plans to harmonize the parking policy consistent with the requirements of Section 3.T. of the JCBA to include out of base parking options. Flight Attendants are encouraged to begin the required two-step process prior to November 30, 2018 in order to be compliant for parking December 1, 2018.  

AFA is aware there are circumstances where some stations only provide for the payment of an annual fee for parking. The published policy does not cover these instances and we believe this to be an oversight.  We are working to obtain additional information on how these circumstances will be addressed.  Thank you for your patience as we work through this issue with management.

Details of the required steps are available on our website, unitedafa.org and in E-lines publication dated October 23, 2018.

Questions and additional information should be directed to your Local Council Representatives.

Seasonal Flu Shots Available at CVS Pharmacies 
MEC Benefits Committee

Flu season is here and NOW is the perfect time to protect yourself against the possibility of catching this year’s strain. United is once again offering the flu vaccine free of charge via any CVS pharmacy, while supplies last.  The CVS voucher can be obtained from the company’s website at the following link.

You must obtain an original copy of the voucher from the link above as the offer is void if you attempt to use reproduced vouchers, copies or facsimiles.  Follow the instructions on how to obtain this year’s flu shot. You must show your United ID for eligibility in the program. The voucher is good now through 12/31/2018.

If you have specific questions or health concerns about receiving the flu vaccine, please contact your personal physician or a United Airlines medical facility.

For additional information, flu symptoms and prevention, visit the CDC website.

Pay Register Timing Clarification  

Effective November 7, 2018 at 8:00PM CST, your final October Pay Register will be available in CCS.  To ensure you are paid correctly, you are strongly encouraged to closely review your final October Pay Register.

If you have questions about you Pay, contact the Flight Attendant Crew Pay Support Team at 1-800-FLT-LINE (options 5,1,2).

Helpful Tips

Quick method for finding Contract info:

  • Download the PDF version of the JCBA to the PDF reader app  of your smartphone or electronic tablet (such as iBooks, PDF Expert, EBookDroid) so you may easily do quick keyword searches when you have questions or need to refer to the Contract language for any issue.
  • The JCBA is also found in Link, Content Locker, JCBA Resources, Categories- Contract.

There is a built-in keyword search function in Link.

The United Master Executive Council website (www.unitedafa.org) is the official United AFA source of information and resources. Find your Local Council Representatives contact information, MEC Committee information, Election information, MEC & Local Council meeting information and various forms for reporting issues we face or to access current news, updates and more.

Reminders and Quick Links

November 8        Vacation Bidding Begins (Round 2)
November 16      Vacation Bidding Closes (Round 2)
November 20      Vacation Awards Posted (Round 2)
November 22      U. S. Thanksgiving Holiday 
November 30      Out of Base Parking Election Form is Due. (Help Hub)
December 3-28   Pass Travel Enrollment for 2019
December 25      Christmas Day


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