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E-Lines: September 11, 2018

Date: September 11, 2018

September 11, 2001 - We Will Never Forget!  

Today marked the 17th year in which we remember those who gave their lives while serving as a crew member.  During the celebrations that occurred at the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York City, the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, PA and the USS Midway Memorial celebration in San Diego, CA, Flight Attendants came together with family and friends to remember not only those who were lost but also those who loved them.  These events are somber events normally filled with great reverence and respect for the lives lost that day – passengers and crew alike.

This year, however, the Flight Attendants who travelled to Shanksville to attend the annual Flight 93 Memorial were met with a surprise of a different type, one they will likely long remember. Arrangements were made for these Flight Attendants to travel from locations around the world from the Pittsburgh International Airport by bus to the Memorial.

As we always do, today’s group arrived one hour ahead of schedule.  While waiting, they learned of a Presidential stop at the event and were forced to look at messages printed on shirts that clearly indicated it was a planned campaign stop. The disrespect and mean spirited “leadership” that makes sacred ground a disgusting campaign stop is appalling. While this action delayed the arrival of our Members to the event, be assured their presence was appreciated by the family and friends of those who were lost that fateful day 17 years ago. #Never Forget has a specific meaning as it pertains to these Memorial Services. For those who were in attendance at today’s Memorial service in Shanksville it is likely they will long remember the lack of respect shown to those who died as well as all those who were in attendance at the Memorial.


October Bid Packages Available Tomorrow, September 12, 2018 – New Bidding Tool Available

September 12, 2018 marks the opening of bids for our October schedules – the first month where we will all be scheduled on a common scheduling platform and, as a result, where we will share the aisle in meeting the needs of the passengers entrusted to our care.

We understand that there are a number of questions concerning the first common bid package in terms of how it will be organized, how lines will appear and how crew complements will be organized at each of our respect Local Councils. In addition, another of the contract changes that affects when printed bids are required to be available becomes effective as of this month as well.  

Our primary bid period opens on the 12th calendar day of each month preceding the bid month at 0800 home domicile time. The bid period closes at 0800 home domicile time on the 17th calendar day of each month. Bid packages are required to be available electronically no later than the opening of the primary bid period each month. Paper copies will be available in the base not later than 3:00PM local time on the 14th calendar day of the month.

Given the magnitude of the change in the schedule development process, everyone is affected when it comes to the layout of the bid package, position bidding, language bases and Reserve.  

In an effort to address these changes, we are pleased to let you know of our efforts to assist you in this process and have worked to obtain additional bidding tools to assist in searching for line characteristics including layover information, number of days off, duty days, type of flying, etc.

In meeting this objective, we are grateful for the assistance of the staff at BidPlus. Working in partnership with these dedicated professionals – former Flight Attendants – we are pleased to let you know of the commitment that has gone into providing each United Flight Attendant with free access to BidPlus for a period of four (4) months to assist in the transition to the new bidding environment. This tool is fast, accurate and reliable. For this first month, however, it is expected there will be one exception. That is, when the company systems limit the technology as will be the case when uploading bids because of CCS limitations which will cause a bottleneck when uploading your bid choices. As the company has set up the bid screens in CCS, they may not be workable for an automated solution at this time. The bidding search capabilities of the program are running smoothly and accurately.  It’s the input of the bids that will be limited based on the limited ability of CCS to upload.  

BidPlus provides Flight Attendants with a free first month of service and a second month of free service provided you view one of the webinars to learn about the software available from their BidPlus website. In addition, and based on the BidPlus commitment to Flight Attendants, we have agreed upon a substantial discount during the following two months that will be paid for by AFA in support of our Members during the transition to the common scheduling platform. In addition and because of the limited uploading capability caused by CCS, BidPlus will be offering an additional free month.

We look forward to maintaining a very positive working relationship with BidPlus as we strengthen our collaborative relationship that we trust will benefit Flight Attendants via this bidding tool but also through a robust relationship with the CAUSE program. In addition, we look forward to the joint development of a recognition program for those Flight Attendants who are active in their local communities and that recognizes the individual spirit of community and volunteerism. 

In order to take advantage of this advanced bidding tool, follow these directions:

  • Go to www.bidplus.com
  • For FAQs, click the Help menu, and then choose FAQs
  • To create an account, click 'Start My Free Account'
  • You are directed to a registration form
  • Once that is complete, you will be on your new BidPlus desktop
  • There are 2 windows on the desktop. The one on the left toggles between the test drive (old) bids and current new bids.
  • To open a bid package, click once to select the bid package, and then click the Load Bid Package button at the bottom middle of the desktop.
  • The first time you open a bid package it will take you through a brief setup where you can choose your languages and set up your pay rates.
  • Once the configuration process is complete, your bid package will open. You will also be presented with a Quick Start video.
  • The quickest way to find help is to locate and click on the "How do I ....?" feature located throughout the program. It will give you direct access to the Support Center.

We strongly encourage you to make use of the Support Center. It contains a wide number of articles and videos that can be searched by topic or search word.  BidPlus will provide the necessary product support through their website and Support Center.  

To access the Support Center...
1) From the bidplus.com, click Help-->Support
2) From the Desktop, click the Support Center link on the right-hand side
3) From inside of the program, click the "How do I ..." link at the bottom right-hand side of the blue menu shade.

BidPlus will provide Flight Attendants with the ability to search the lines of flying for the characteristics she/he determines is her/his personal priority be it layover locations, duty days,  numbers of days off and so much more.  In addition, through this tool access to monthly schedules will be available as of the 12th of the month in an alternate electronic format.


Primary Bid for October Opens Wednesday, September 12, 2018

September 12, 0800 HDT through September 17 0800 HDT, we will be bidding for our October schedules for the first time utilizing the new CCS platform. Each month the bidding and awards process will follow a timeline, with specific monthly opening and closing times for primary & secondary bids. These dates and times, which are set forth in Section 7.B. of the JCBA will also be listed on the front page of the monthly bid packet. 

There will be two separate bidding and awards processes: primary bid and the secondary bid which will be for Vacation Relief Lines

During the Primary bid period, you will have the opportunity to bid for Regular Lines, Reserve Lines or indicate a preference to bid for Vacation Relief Lines.  The bidding timeline under common scheduling platform for October, 2018 

Primary Bid Period Opens

Primary Bid Period Closes

Primary Line Award Numbers Visible By *

September 12, 2018
0800 HDT

September 17, 2018

0800 HDT

September 18, 2018

0800 HDT


Flight Attendants awarded Vacation Relief Lines during the Primary bid period, will bid again in the Secondary bid period after which they will receive their Vacation Relief Award.  The secondary bidding timeline under common scheduling platform for October 2018

Secondary Bid for Vacation Relief Lines Opens

Secondary Bid for Vacation Relief Lines Closes

Secondary Bid for Vacation Relief Line Award Number Assigned By

September 20, 2018
2000 HDT

September 22, 2018
0800 HDT

September 23, 2018
0800 HDT


IMPORTANT NOTE: BID TO COVER YOURSELF!

Bids will be awarded in Flight Attendant seniority order. If you do not bid, or do not bid a sufficient number of lines, you will be awarded the lowest numerical line and position that is available at that point in the process
Assuming lines are available at your seniority, the insufficient bid logic of the program awards lines before Reserve and domestic before international.

For additional information we encourage Flight Attendants to review Chapter 2, Section I of the Bidding and Awards guide where you will find the entire timeline of events, listed in chronological order. Questions and concerns may be directed to your Local Council. 


Review Your Bidding Resources  

Bidding & Awards Overview (online-friendly version)
Bidding & Awards Overview (print-friendly version)
Bidding & Awards User Guide
Bidding & Awards User Guide Supplement
Position Bidding Supplement
Bidding & Awards Video Tutorials




Reminders About Bidding

Flight Attendants are encouraged to review the following parameters priors to entering their October bids for the September 12 through the September 17 primary bid period.

  • You can save your bids and come back to them at any time while the bid period is open. 
  • Remember that saving your bids does not submit them. You must use the “Submit” button to ensure your bids are on file. The absences of the “Save” button and the notification in the top right-hand corner of the Primary Line Bidding screen are indicators that your bids have been submitted. 
  • Once you submit your bids, you will receive a “Bids Submitted!!” message indicating that they are now on file. 
  • You can make changes to your bids as many times as you wish while the bid period is open and resubmit your bids by pressing the “Submit” button. However, only your last submitted bids will be considered. 
  • DO NOT click the “BACK” button or refresh your browser while you are entering your bids. These actions will result in all your unsaved work being discarded. The Primary Line Bidding screen is a separate browser window. Therefore, if you need to return to the CCS home screen, save your work and select the CCS home screen tab in your web browser. 
  • After submitting your bids, verify that the bids displayed are the bids desired. If you need to make changes, you will need to make changes and re-submit your bids. 
  •  CCS will allow you to enter and submit bids that you may not be qualified for; however, those specific line bids will not be awarded during the schedule award process if you do not possess the qualification for the flying in the line. 

Additional information may be found in the Bidding and Awards guide located on our website. 


Opting to a Higher Monthly Maximum 

The “Opt” area allows Flight Attendants to choose between several options for monthly maximums and will apply to the type of line you are awarded. 

Lineholder Opt

Reserve Opt

No Opt default to 95 hours

No Opt is the default (up to 100 hours)

Up to 100 hours

Up to 105 Hours

Over 100 Hours

Over 105 Hours


The monthly maximum for a Lineholder is 95 credited hours and for Reserves 100 credited hours. Both Lineholders and Reserves may opt to a mid-level opt, either 100 or 105 hours, respectively. The highest level of opting is over 100 hours for lineholders and over 105 hours for Reserves. 

While many Flight Attendants desire to opt for higher hours, maintaining 95:00 hours maximum is an option as well. If you exceed or are projected to exceed your monthly maximum, a legality code will be shown in your Master Schedule and your schedule will need to be adjusted to bring your projection down below your monthly maximum.

If you are assigned a line of flying that exceeds your monthly credited maximum, you may contact Scheduling in advance of the start of the month to have your line adjusted below your monthly maximum. 

If you choose not to have your line adjusted prior to the start of the month, you will then be required to fly your line so long as you do not exceed your monthly maximum on an actual (block) basis (95:00 or 100:00 of block time.) If you opt for the unlimited maximum, you will be expected to fly the trips in your line.

In the operation, if you are projected over your monthly actual (block) maximum hours, and dropping a pairing is necessary, your preference as to which pairing to drop will be subject to the concurrence of you and the crew scheduler. If no agreement is reached, the dropped pairing will be subject to the approval of the Crew Schedule manager. If you are scheduled over your maximum actual (block) flight time, Crew Scheduling will reassign you. 

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Both Lineholders and Reserves may opt at any time during the schedule month at their discretion through the Electronic Bulletin Board (refer to the Trip Trades & Adjustments Guide, when available) or by calling either FAST or Crew Scheduling.

For additional information, refer to the Legalities publication.


Block Bid 

In addition to individual line bids Flight Attendants may also bid a “block bid” or submit a bid for a range of line numbers. There is no minimum, so you can block bid as few or as many lines as you want. 

After you enter a line number in the white box of the “Line” field, switch the toggle button, located in the “Block Bid” field from “NO to “YES”.

Once switched to “Yes”, a white box will appear in the “End Line” field so you can enter the ending line number of your block bid. 

Note: You can block bid in ascending or descending order. Example: When bidding for all line numbers between 0123 and 0324 in ascending order with no specific position Flight Attendants first enter 0123, then 0124, then 0125, etc.) or may block bid 123 – 324.


Position Bidding

When bidding a line, you have the ability to specify a bid position, which will determine where you will work on the aircraft. These positions include: International Purser (FSL), Purser (PUR), Language Qualified (LQ), galley and aisle. These positions will vary depending on the type of aircraft and market. Each bid position will carry with it all assigned duties for each aircraft, such as: which jumpseat you will occupy, what your responsibilities will be during boarding or whether you will work in the aisle or galley, etc. The Cover Letter will provide your location-specific work assignment and the bid position details for each aircraft. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: There are Lines of Flying and pairings with mixed equipment. Therefore, work positions associated with your bid position may not always be the same. It is important that you review Lines of Flying and corresponding pairing numbers in the bid packet closely to determine if work positions change


You also have the ability to bid a Line of Flying without specifying a specific position by selecting “any”, indicating you are willing to work whichever position is available to your seniority / qualification during the bid award process. The Cover Letter in the bid packet for your Domicile will contain the positions available to bid, depending on aircraft type.


Buddy Bidding 

Flight Attendants may also choose to bid a Line of Flying to fly with another Flight Attendant.   To place a Buddy Bid on file, both you and your buddy must indicate this on the Primary Line Bidding screen by including the buddy’s employee ID in the Buddy Bidding section. 

You may place a buddy bid on file in one of two ways:

1.     Submit identical line numbers but different positions (or “Any”). 

2.     Submit mirrored line numbers (lines having the exact same flying but different line numbers) with different positions (or “Any”).

a. An example would be an LQ Flight Attendant bidding on an LQ line that mirrors the same pairings as a non-LQ line. There will be different line numbers bid for each Flight Attendant, but the lines are “mirrored” where the pairings flown operate on the same days of the month with the exact same flying contained in the pairings.  The bids of both Flight Attendants will be awarded according to the seniority of the junior Flight Attendant. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Mirrored Line numbers are two different numerical lines within the bid packet that are identical (same pairing dates, segments, layovers, etc.). The only difference between the two lines are positions and pairing numbers.

Buddy Bid Rules 

  • Each buddy must be assigned to the same geographical Domicile 
  • Each buddy must declare the other as their buddy by indicating this on their respective Primary Line Bidding screens 
  • International Purser Flight Attendants may buddy bid with non-International Purser Flight Attendants; International Purser Flight Attendants may buddy bid with other International Purser Flight Attendants but only for Vacation Relief Lines in the Primary bid or matching Reserve Lines.
  • The International Purser must bid the International Purser position or “ANY”, with the line numbers in the same sequence as the buddy; the International Purser may only be awarded an International Purser line 
  • The non-International Purser must bid the same line sequence as the buddy, and can bid any other position or “ANY” 
  • LQ Flight Attendants may buddy bid with non-LQ Flight Attendants; LQ Flight Attendants may buddy bid with other LQ Flight Attendants but only for Vacation Relief Lines in the Primary bid or matching Reserve Lines. 
  • Buddy bids are awarded at the junior Flight Attendant seniority level 
  • The line numbers must be exactly the same unless lines are mirrored (same flying but different line numbers) and in the same sequence 
  • Flight Attendants may also buddy bid for Reserve Lines with the same day off patterns 
  • The positions on identical line numbers must be different or one or both of the Flight Attendants may select position “Any” 
  • Only two (2) Flight Attendants may buddy bid 

 


Long Term Sick Leave Pay Options 

Flight Attendants who are expected to be on sick leave for a full month and whose pay is drawn from their Sick or Occupational Leave Bank, may choose three bid options:

1.     Value of the Line you bid, or

2.     71 hours, or

3.     100 hours. 

 If you select “Bid”, you will receive a “paper award” the trips will not actually appear on your monthly Line of Flying and subsequently you will receive pay equal to the value of the line you were “paper awarded.” 

After making your selections, click the “Save” button to record your choices. You may also “Submit” at this point or wait to submit until you’ve finished the entire bidding process. 

Additional information on Sick Leave can be found in the Pay Guide.


Vacation Relief Lines

If you want to bid a Vacation Relief Line, you may enter “RLF” to bid all Vacation Relief Lines (Domestic and International) or you may enter a specific line number(s), or line number ranges assigned to Vacation Relief Lines. 

More information about Vacation Relief Lines bidding is found in Chapter 4, Section B of the Bidding and Awards guide.


Reserve Waiver 

The 35-in-7 rule applies only to Reserve Flight Attendants and states that a Reserve may not be scheduled to exceed 35:00 flight hours in any 7 consecutive 24:00 hour periods. A Reserve may elect to waive this legality by selecting the 35-in-7 Reserve Waiver Box on the Primary Line Bidding screen during the monthly bid submission. For more information on 35-in-7 and Reserve Preferencing, please refer to the Reserve Guide

Note: 
Reserves may not be rescheduled to exceed 35-in-7 without their consent. 

The 35-in-7 rule only applies to Domestic pairings; not International pairings. Therefore, when looking at any 7 consecutive 24:00 hour periods: 

If a Reserve is assigned only Domestic pairings, or a mix of both Domestic and International pairings, the 35-in-7 rule shall apply

If a Reserve is assigned only International pairings, the 35-in-7 rule shall not apply

The 35-in-7 rule only applies to actual working flight time (block time) not deadheading or credit time. 

The 35-in-7 rule is for schedule planning purposes only. If flight time increases during the actual operation of the pairing, the Flight Attendant must fly out the pairing, even if 35-in-7 is exceeded. 

Note: Any 35-in-7 legality code will appear in your Master Schedule. 

It is important to note there has been a change to the application of the 35-in-7 waiver as it applies to the box on the monthly bid screen for pre-merger United Flight Attendants. Whereas in the past this box applied only to the seven day period at the conjunction of the old and new month schedule, checking the box on the bid card in CCS will not indicate that you are waiving your 35-in-7 for the entire schedule month.


Bidding for Reserve Move-Up 

During the Primary bid process, in addition to lines of flying, you will have the ability to bid for Reserve schedules. When bidding for Reserve schedules, the default is for all Reserves to be added to the move-up list. As part of the bid process, you may opt out of participating in the Move-Up Line process. You may also specify up to 4 protected days in the Move-Up Line process. A protected date is a requested off day should you receive a Move-Up Line. You will not be awarded a move-up line unless the company can honor your move-up protected days. You may also indicate a preference for one of the following Reserve line types: 

1. Domestic 

2. International 

3. Domestic first, then International 

4. International first, then Domestic, or  

5. Either 

Instructions on how to bid Reserve Lines are in Chapter 2, Section H of the Bidding and Awards guide. 

The Company can begin building Move-Up Lines on the first day of the new bid month from pairings in open time and to the extent they can maintain adequate Reserve coverage. Move-Up Lines will be constructed for you, taking into account the type of line you indicated from the list above, as well as any protected days. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: If your protected dates cannot be accommodated, you will remain on the Move-Up list in seniority order until your protected dates can be accommodated. However, this may prevent you from receiving a Move-Up Line for the month.


International Purser October Opt-Outs Awards are Now Available

International Purser October Opt-Outs awards are now available. Detailed information on the International Purser Opt-Out Program is linked here.



Annual Enrollment Benefits Fairs Coming Soon. 

Upcoming dates and locations for annual Benefits Fairs can be found on Your Benefits Resources (YBR). Watch for additional information concerning your 2019 benefits to be released soon. 

 


People’s Republic of China (PRC) Visa Requirement- Deadline Oct 1, 2018 

As a reminder, Flight Attendants based in domiciles from which flights to/from the Peoples Republic of China are operated, including deadheading crews, will be required to have a PRC crew visa, effective as of October 1, 2018. 

Flight Attendants based in the following locations who are not currently in possession of the PRC crew visa are strongly encouraged to start the PRC crew visa process as soon as possible. Expense reimbursement for the cost of the visa can be processed by submitting a receipt via the Concur reporting system. 

EWR

LAX

ORD

NTA

WLS

SLS

LAI

IAD/DCA

SFO

NLS

LLS

SFI


Detailed information on PRC crew visa process and application can be found here.


 

 

 

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