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E-Lines: October 15, 2019

Date: October 15, 2019

United Releases Third Quarter Financial Performance Results

United’s third-quarter net income jumped nearly 23% to more than $1.02 billion from the year-earlier period on revenue of $11.38 billion, an increase of 3.4% from a year ago, but below the nearly $11.42 billion analysts expectations.

United’s earnings per share came in at $4.07 on an adjusted basis, compared with $3.97 a share Wall Street analysts had estimated.

Annual Vacation Bidding

Vacation Elections (Flex days, Buy Back, 401(k) deferral) closed this morning, October 15, 2019 0800 HDT consistent with the Vacation Timeline in Section 12.C.2. of our JCBA. The next step in our contractual Vacation Timeline is First Round vacation bidding.

Review the overview of the annual Vacation Bidding process.

Fall Regular Meeting of the United MEC - October 22 – 23, 2019 in Chicago

The Fall Regular Meeting of the United Master Executive Council (MEC) will take place October 22 – 23, 2019 at the Hyatt Rosemont Hotel, in Rosemont, IL. Your Local Council President, joined by the 15 other Local Council Presidents from around our system, will address the business of our Union and the issues that are important to you. Visit unitedafa.org to review the Fall Meeting Agenda.

We encourage Members to witness our democratic process in action by attending your Local Council fall meetings. Meetings scheduled, dates and times will be posted on our website as they become available.

Annual Benefits Open Enrollment - through October 25

Open Enrollment for active employees began October 7 and will close on October 25, 2019. Flight Attendants can enroll online though the benefits link on Flying Together or via phone by calling the Benefits Service Center at 1-800-651-1007 from 7am-7pm CT, Monday- Friday.

As a reminder for retirees, Open Enrollment for retirees begins, as it has for the last several years, on the last Monday of October or October 28, 2019.  Prior to that date, retiree open enrollment is not possible.

We encourage you to not only review your benefits but to use the Open Enrollment tools that have been developed to assist you in making a choice of the insurance coverage that best fits your individual circumstance.  The tools will assist in reviewing available options and will assist you in reviewing a comparison of the premiums associated with the plans you might be considering for 2020.  Consistent with the terms of the Contract, Section 29.B.3., if you elect not to change your coverage during this Open Enrollment period, your elections from 2019 will, in large part, carry over. Elections must be made during the Open Enrollment period to accomplish any of the following:

  • Change plans and/or levels of coverage,
  • Add or remove dependents from your coverage,
  • Contribute to the healthcare and/or dependent care FSAs next year,
  • Enroll in one of the new vision plans, and/or
  • Sign up for any of the supplemental benefits offered by United Airlines including critical illness insurance, accident insurance, hospital indemnity insurance, and/or legal service.

Additional information can be found on our website, unitedafa.org.

Since the opening of the Annual Benefits Open Enrollment period on October 7, 2019, there have been a number of questions about the increases in the employee cost for benefits especially as it pertains to Medical benefits. We understand that seeing these increases is a concern for everyone. There are a number of changes built into the Contract that become effective this year and are important to understand.

Review this recent article for more clarification.

November 2019 Paid Holidays – NRT, GUM & All U.S. Bases
Contract Sections 2.Q and 4.I

Our Contract stipulates that in addition to all other compensation, Flight Attendants receive additional pay for assignments touching the Flight Attendant’s birthday and designated holidays as outlined in Sections 2.Q. and 4.I.

For the November bid month:


November 23, 2019

Labor Thanksgiving Day

Guam & All U.S. Bases

November 28, 2019

Thanksgiving Day


Holiday Pay is calculated using a formula that accounts for the number of credited hours flown during the holiday pairing and how much time away from home the pairing has. Premium pay is not used when computing holiday pay. A Flight Attendant’s hours away from home begins at the pairing report time and ends at the conclusion of the scheduled debriefing time upon the return to the home domicile.


Please refer to the following previous articles and resources for more details regarding Holiday Pay:

Understanding Holiday Pay

Understanding Holiday Pay (Section 4.I.)

Reserve Survival Guide page 92

Holiday Pay Parameters

Holiday Pay (including Birthday Holiday) Parameters Should Your Trip Cancel

How does Deadhead Deviation Impact Holiday Pay?

“What is my work position?” 

Understanding how to read a pairing and to understand the corresponding work-position eliminates uncertainty and ensures we are prepared for our specific safety and service responsibilities in advance of our arrival at the aircraft.

To keep it as simple as possible, we recommend you get into the habit of either printing or taking a screenshot of the Bid/Work Position Matrices found in each month’s Primary Cover Letter for each base. A review of the corresponding Staffing Sheets for each flight is of equal importance.

Staffing Sheets are found in the Link as well as on Flying Together, and the Primary Cover Letter for each base/ bid month is found with the Bid Packets in CCS under the Bidding Tab.

Having immediate access and understanding of both tools mentioned will ensure everyone has a clear understanding of who is working which position on a given flight.

Flight Attendants are encouraged to review the following previous articles/ resources pertaining to pairing types and associated work-positions:

Position Bidding Supplement Guide

Work Positions on Operational Pairings (8000-9999)

Unexpected Aircraft Changes – How to Fill Open Positions

Aircraft Substitutions Requiring Fewer Flight Attendants

Established Staffing Guidelines (Flying Together)

Three Distinct Types of Reassignment per JCBA Section 7.Q.

Our Contract provides for three distinct types of reassignment scenarios and each of the three have unique parameters that must be followed.

1. Notice on the same calendar day as departure of the pairing. (On the first day of a pairing before leaving the base) Section 7.Q.1.

2. Notice of one or more calendar day. (Discontinuation of Service after schedules have been awarded.) Section 7.Q.3.

3. Reassignments after leaving the base. (Downline reassignments) Section 7.Q.5.

Each of us has a responsibility to ensure that the Contract under which we work is enforced.  Successful enforcement is directly tied to our familiarity with the written provisions of each Section of the Contact.  The reassignment language in our Contract is industry leading and each of us must be familiar with not only how it is applied but also which provisions of the Contract we are being reassigned.

For example, reassignments when notice is provided on the same day as departure (Section 7.Q.1) establishes company has four hours to provide either a reassignment or a release with pay. If given a replacement pairing, a hotel room will be provided at the base for reassignments leaving the next day.

Section 7.Q.3. Notice of one or more calendar day provides the company with the option of advising the Flight Attendant of a replacement pairing or relieving her/him of responsibility.  If the company does not provide a reassignment or relieve the Flight Attendant of her/his responsibility, she/he is provided options to either make up time on days not originally scheduled with an adjustment to her/his line guarantee, make up time as close as possible to the time lost on days originally scheduled to fly with no loss of pay, or be subject to reassignment as provided in paragraphs 7.3.c.1. & 2.

Reassignments under Section Q.1.,2., & 3. must comply with the protections outlined in Section 7.Q.4. including the Reassignment Pay parameters and day-off protections.

The third type, Reassignments which occur after leaving the base, Section 7.Q.5 covers the parameters for downline reassignments and includes day-off protection parameters, reassignment pay parameters and more.

All downline reassignments must comply with the parameters outlined in the Downline Reassignment of Flight Attendants Settlement which requires, in brief:

Crew Scheduling will always attempt to provide a complete reassignment upon initial contact.

When not possible to complete the reassignment and where the only reassignment at the time is to return the Flight Attendant to her/his base, Crew Scheduling may, at its option, assign the Flight Attendant as follows:

1. Not later than the actual arrival (block-in) of the re-scheduled flight to Base, Crew Scheduling may update the existing pairing to include additional flying;

2. If such flying is within the same duty period, it must comply with the terms of Sections 6.S., 6.T., or 6.U., as applicable;

3. If such flying is outside the current duty period, the Flight Attendant must:

a.     Have appropriate layover rest consistent with the terms of Section 6.V.3. or 6.W.1., as applicable, between duty periods; and

b.     Be provided a hotel room for any layovers that occur at her/his base.

Reassignments made when returning the Flight Attendant to base must be accomplished through the modification of the Flight Attendant’s existing pairing in order to maintain continuous per diem and time away from base calculations based on the original report time for that pairing.

Should you have additional questions, please contact your Local Council Office.

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