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Procedure for Utilizing Self-Help for Hotel

Date: June 30, 2018

Over the course of this past week weather systems have once again adversely impacted a large portion of United’s route network; causing flight cancelations, diversions, and delays. The result has been a series of irregular operations where Flight Attendants found themselves laying over in cities where they were never scheduled to fly, yet alone layover. We received reports from some Flight Attendants that they had difficulty reaching the Crew Scheduling & Hotel Desks to secure overnight accommodations. We have been researching those reports and met with management to help us better understand the reasons for what appears to have been yet another breakdown in the system.

Preliminarily we are learning that many of the issues resulted simply from the volume of calls placed for assistance. In some cases, the cities to which flights were diverted were in a city-wide sold-out hotel situation which required the company to look for hotels and transportation a greater distance from the airport than might otherwise be desirable.

Additionally, call wait times were very long and Flight Attendant reports of being unable to reach the Hotel Desk were made to Local Council offices. We have also received reports that some Flight Attendants needing overnight accommodations were unsure of the procedures they should use or how to utilize Self-help for hotel and transportation issues provided for under the terms of the Contact. This resulted in Flight Attendants finding themselves in situations where they have not received adequate rest (ie: sleeping in airports, cots or crew rooms). To be clear, if a Flight Attendant feels they are unsafe to perform their Flight Attendant duties efficiently and safely they are encouraged to review the company’s Corporate Fatigue Policy and act accordingly. 

Your MEC Officers met this week with senior Inflight leadership to discuss our continuing concerns regarding the unavailability of hotel rooms during severe weather conditions. We have reiterated our expectation to management provisioning of hotel rooms remains the company’s responsibility and we have put management on notice they have to step up their game in this area. We anticipate additional discussion on this topic in the weeks ahead.

For additional information and to review the provisions of utilizing Self Help, Flight Attendants are encouraged to read AFA E-Lines publication, dated April 7, 2017.

For Hotel and Transportation Issues Remember to Use Self Help.

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