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Can I Be Re-directed from my Bid Position for the Duration of a Flight?

Date: November 2, 2019

The International Purser/Purser is the designated onboard leader on the aircraft and she/he is responsible for coordinating the overall service on the flight and ensuring all aspects of the scheduled service(s) are completed according to established company standards. This work should be completed observing all of the provisions of the Contract under which we all work.

Flight Attendants report being re-directed from a bid position by the International Purser/Purser to a different or unassigned work position for the duration of the flight and many are questioning the ability of the International Purser to unilaterally move a Flight Attendant from her/his bid position.  While the International Purser has the responsibility to ensure scheduled services are completed, she/he is obligated to respect the bid awarded work position of the Flight Attendants on the flight. 

In a situation where a flight is dispatched with less that the number of Flight Attendants required by the Established Staffing Guidelines (ESG), all Flight Attendants on the flight are expected to participate in the service through completion. In fact, every Flight Attendant can be asked to participate in some part of the service in another cabin on the flight.  Asking a Flight Attendant from one cabin to participate in the service delivery of a cabin in which she/he was not scheduled to work does not constitute a violation of the Agreement or her/his work position. However, what is not permissible is moving a Flight Attendant from her/his work position into another cabin for the entire flight.

When the need for assistance in a particular cabin is identified, the International Purser is expected to identify Flight Attendants who will assist, as needed, to ensure completion of the service. “We are not finished until everyone is finished”. While it is acceptable to solicit a volunteer who might be willing to work an alternate cabin, it is not permissible to impose that change in work position.

In the event you run into a situation where a misunderstanding may have occurred amongst members of the crew, we recommend that a discussion start with the assistance of our peer AFA Professional Standards representatives if you are unable to resolve the disagreement in the moment. In all cases, it’s in everyone’s best interest to avoid involving management in those discussions because, as experience has proven, those situations often don’t turn out as expected. Working together, talking to each other is the path forward in resolving any misunderstanding.  We strongly encourage everyone to benefit from the experience of our trained Union volunteer professionals who work to increase understanding and to improve our professional relationships.

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