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E-Lines: November 19, 2019

Date: November 19, 2019

Changes Coming to Sao Paulo Layover Hotel  

For some time now, AFA and the company have had an ongoing dispute regarding the layover facility that has been in use in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  (As a matter of Flight Attendant safety, we won’t discuss the name of the old or the new property.)  It is a hotel that has been used for a number of years. Over the course of the past several years, the number of complaints regarding the property have risen. We have received complaints about the ongoing construction, the inability to rest and overall conditions at the property that do not comply with the Hotel Standards negotiated in our Contract. The current hotel is undergoing renovations involving construction on the exterior of the building which has presented challenges in getting appropriate rest and we have received a number of reports on the lack of cleanliness at the hotel as well as other issues that have the potential to present personal health issues for our Members.

For some time now, AFA has attempted to work with United management to persuade the hotel to address the deficiencies at the property. However, those efforts have not been met with success.

During the course of the regular sourcing and inspection process in the city, our MEC Hotel & Transportation Committee was not able to approve the hotel because it did not comply with the parameters negotiated in our Contract. During that visit, we also inspected those hotels who responded to a Request for Proposal (RFP) from United expressing an interest in United’s crew business. 

We understand that the disapproval of this hotel property may not be well received because of its favorable location in the city. However, it is also important to understand that our MEC Committee is obligated to ensure that hotels used for the lodging of Flight Attendants meet the negotiated standards – safe, clean, quiet with food availability. Our continued stay at a hotel that does not meet all of these negotiated standards has, as a consequence, a degradation of the standard for the system.

The overall evaluation of the new hotel was the subject of scrutiny by the MEC Hotel & Transportation Committee and the review of the hotel was completed by more than one Member of the MEC Hotel & Transportation Committee - some of whom frequently layover in Sao Paulo. While we realize this is a significant change for those who have stayed in Sao Paulo for a number of years, the decision to disapprove the hotel was not one that was taken lightly but was instead done on the basis of an informed decision ensuring compliance with all negotiated standards. Based on the hotels interested in accommodating United’s needs for hotel rooms for Flight Attendants, we believe the hotel that has been selected as a replacement, while not is the same area of the city, does meet the negotiated standard and we trust you will find to be an improvement over the current property.

 Reserve Preferencing Training Resource Page – Now Available!
MEC Officers 

We are pleased to announce the official launch of the Reserve Preference System support page on the United MEC website which is dedicated to supporting Flight Attendants’ understanding of the Reserve Preferencing System. This additional educational resource is a continuation of our Contract education initiative geared toward Reserves and follows the successful release of the JCBA Reserve Survival Guide this this past summer.

Featured on the webpage of www.unitedafa.org are various written materials along with a series of instructional videos on how to use the Reserve Preferencing Interface Portal, strategy considerations and system logic.

Special thanks to Matt Stegehuis, MEC Reserve Committee Chairperson, and Domini Wisely, SFO Local Council 11 Representative and Local Reserve Chairperson for their dedicated efforts in providing the voice over of the videos.  In addition, Robyn Varner, MEC Communications Chairperson aided in editing and production of the instructional videos.

You can view the Reserve videos on United AFA. Whether you are new to using the Reserve Preferencing System, or would just like to improve your understanding, we trust you will find these materials helpful.

If you have additional questions about specific Reserve issues, please contact your Local Council Reserve Committee.

Second Round 2020 Vacation Awards Now Available in CCS  


Second round 2020 Vacation Awards are now available for viewing in CCS. To view your 2020 vacation awards, login to CCS, click on the Vacation tab and then select My Vacation from the drop-down menu. 

Flight Attendants who did not submit a vacation bid in the first round of bidding, were considered to be a NO BID and were, consequently, required to bid all of their accrued days in the second round of vacation bidding. Any Flight Attendant not submitting a vacation bid in the second round of bidding were automatically assigned a vacation as a no bid. Keep in mind, the vacation you were assigned was awarded after the second-round vacation awards were completed for all Flight Attendants submitting a bid. The assigned vacation is made in seniority order from December backward through January, with the largest block of days being assigned first.

What if My Bid is considered an Insufficient Bid?

When a Flight Attendant submits a vacation bid and is unable to hold any of her/his selections, she/he is considered an Insufficient Bid. In this instance, vacation is assigned in seniority order from December backward through January after that round of vacation has been awarded to all bidders. The assignment is based on the number of days in your bid with the largest block of days assigned first.

Questions regarding your Vacation award can be directed to the 2020 Vacation Team. Keep in mind, Vacation Team staff are in the Office Monday – Friday, 0830-1700 Central Time,  If you have questions about the vacation award, please contact the Vacation Team at (U.S.): 1-800-FLT-LINE (option 5; option 1) on Monday or by E-mail: FAVacationTeam@united.com . International dial-in numbers follow: 

Phone Numbers - International



Hong Kong

0800 -96-5483





Vacations Encompassed by a Leave of Absence

Vacations Encompassed by a Leave of Absence shall be treated in the following manner:

  • The vacation may be left intact and the Flight Attendant will be paid for the vacation period, or Permit a trade of vacation in accordance with the trading provisions of Section 12.C The result is the removal of the original vacation period from the period of leave, or
  • A Flight Attendant scheduled for jury duty, or on a medical leave or occupational leave or who is hospitalized due to illness or injury may, no later than one calendar day before her/his vacation begins defer the vacation until later in the Scheduled Vacation year.

    Upon return to work, she/he will choose from available vacation periods.

    If no vacation period is open and the deferred vacation was a paid vacation, the Flight Attendant will be paid for the deferred vacation at her/his rate of pay in the last month of the Scheduled Vacation year in which the vacation would have been taken.

    If no vacation period could be assigned, with the exception of paid FLEX days, a Flight Attendant will have the option to either carry unused vacation into the following vacation year under the terms of Section 12.C.8.d. or be paid for the vacation under the terms of Section 12.C.8.c. Paid FLEX vacation days cannot be carried into the next year and will be paid out.

    A Flight Attendant must advise the Company of their election to carry unused vacation into the following vacation year no later than November 30. If no election is made by November 30, vacation will be paid out under the terms of Section 12.C.8.c.

    The payment shall be made not later than their February 1 paycheck of the following year.

  • If an election is made to carry over the deffered vacation days to the following Scheduled Vacation year

    She/he will choose from available vacation periods after the vacation periods for that year have been awarded.

    This provision may only be utilized once per Scheduled Vacation year.

                        This provision does not apply to Paid FLEX vacation days.

    If you have additional questions, please contact the Vacation Team.

Seniority Trading Vacations Begins November 24 - It’s Time to Review!

Second Round Vacation bidding awards will be posted on CCS no later than November 20, 2018. This will conclude the Contractual bidding procedure and will move us into the next phase of vacation processes, Vacation Modifications and Trading. The remaining key dates are critical components of the 2020 Vacation procedure.  



November 24

Open Time Trades by Seniority

November 30

Seniority Trade Awards

December 4

Final Vacation allocations

December 5

Instant Trading Opens

Before vacation trading begins, remaining monthly vacation allocations will be published, no later than November 24, 2019. Vacation Allocation Charts, which outline the open days available for trades, are located on CCS. Once the allocations have been published, Flight Attendants will be able to modify or trade vacations in the first vacation trade process, Open Time Trades by Seniority. Flight Attendants shall have no fewer than six (6) days to submit requests to trade for open vacation periods.

In order to be successful in trading, Flight Attendants are encouraged to review the trade procedures available in the
2020 Vacation Guide.

November Contractual Paid Holidays: U.S. Thanksgiving Day, Labor Thanksgiving Day NRT  
JCBA Sections 2.Q and 4.I

Flight assignments flown from all United States domiciles & GUM over the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday as well as flight assignments at NRT flown over the Labor Thanksgiving Day holiday are eligible for contractual holiday pay.

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?

Questions can be directed to your Local Council Office.

 End of Month Conflict (EOM)/ Month to Month Line Adjustment Process Review

End of month adjustments are necessary when a Flight Attendant’s new month schedule conflicts with the old month schedule. This happens either because trips either physically overlap or the new month’s schedule creates a legality problem such that the two trips, one from the old month and one from the new month, cannot be legally flown in combination. Although, Section 7.E. of our JCBA provides the mechanism by which month to month line adjustments are handled, the process can still be confusing. We encourage Flight Attendants requesting additional understanding to review the information and illustrations provided in the Adjustment Overview Guide

Any Flight Attendant that still has questions, after review of the provided information, should contact their Local Council Representative for clarification.

Lost, Stolen or Surrendered Passport Procedures
Section 3.V.5.a.

Flight Attendants are required to carry their passport while on any flight assignment. When a Flight Attendant’s passport expires or requires replacement for any reason, (i.e. lost or stolen passport or name change, etc.) Section 3.V.5.a of our Contract provides guidance on the reimbursement of costs for replacements.

The Company shall bear the cost of any necessary passports, passport renewals, additional passport pages, visas, work permits required to be based/domiciled at that location, residency and the governments expedited renewal fee. The Company shall also bear the costs of all necessary photos associated with obtaining the aforementioned documents. In the event a Flight Attendant’s Passport is stolen, the company shall bear the cost of its replacement including required visas in effect at the time of the theft where supported by reasonable documentation. 

Flight Attendants are required to monitor the expiration dates of their passport and all required visas based on the flying assigned to her/his domicile location.

To review your current record or modify the passport/ visa status log in to CCS, select the Schedule tab > Passport. Flight Attendants are responsible for the accuracy of the information they input. We encourage Flight Attendants to maintain copies of any receipts related to the passport and visa renewal/replacement and to ensure proper reimbursement. 

Learn more about E-Lines Passport Renewal Costs , additional resources and frequently asked questions can be found in Policies and Procedures on Flying Together .

Releasing Sick Leave Pairings Prior to Eight (8) Hours Before Departure

 When a Flight Attendant calls on sick leave for a trip pairing, the Company will put that assignment into open time in accordance with Section 7.G.1. of our Contract.  If a Lineholder, the Company may not put subsequent trip pairings in the Lineholder’s schedule into open time earlier than eight (8) hours prior to the scheduled departure, except when the Lineholder has advised the Company that she/he will be on sick leave for a longer period of time.

 We want to take a minute to remind everyone that it is possible to release sick leave trips earlier than eight hours prior to departure. To accomplish this, call the Flight Attendant Support Team (FAST) to advise them you expect to be out beyond a specific date and ask them to release the trips. However, if there is a possibility you may return to fly your pairing, you are under no obligation to call to release the pairings early.

 On another subject related to sick leave trips, we are becoming aware that with increasing frequency, Flight Attendants are attempting to pick up or persuade scheduling to remove pairings from sick leave prior to eight (8) hours before departure. In some cases, we have examples where individual Flight Attendants have successfully picked up a pairing from a flying partner who is on sick leave without her/his knowledge. Under no circumstances, in the absence of permission of the person on sick leave, should anyone ever remove a pairing from the line of a flying partner. Doing so results in a loss of income for the Flight Attendant on sick leave at a time when she/he can least afford to experience the income loss because the trip will not be paid through our Contractual sick leave process when the pairing comes off the line and drops into open time.

If you have additional questions on sick leave, releasing sick leave pairings or picking up pairings that are on sick leave, please contact your Local Council office.

737 MAX Out of Service until March 5, 2020

United has decided to pull MAX flights out of schedule until March 5, 2020. During this period, United will continue to take extraordinary steps to protect customers’ travel plans by monitoring the regulatory process and making the necessary adjustments to the aircraft schedule to benefit our customers who are traveling with us.  The following is a brief overview of the impact of the removal of the MAX aircraft from schedule for the period from November 2019 – March 2020.






Cancels per day






Cancels per month







2Hot2Cold Winter is Here
MEC Safety Health and Security Committee

Last week a burst of cold temperatures swept across the country causing many locations to experience unseasonably low temperatures. Flight Attendants reported extremely cold aircraft cabins, especially when operating an early morning flight.

The FAA currently does not have temperature requirements for cabin conditions as a result we experience working conditions that can be too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. We face these extremes all too often. Thanks to so many of our Flight Attendants we continue to record these extreme conditions by collecting firsthand reports from our members. The data you help us collect will help to persuade leaders in Washington to regulate safe temperatures on board the aircraft improving our work conditions and ensuring the safety and comfort of the traveling public.

Help us collect more reports this winter by downloading the 2hot2cold application to your smartphone or tablet. Visit AFA-CWA 2Hot2Cold  to download and review the current data collected.

The Cause Foundation® - Making Your Holiday Purchases Count! 

Candy cane scarves & ties for the holiday are available through November & December.   As we enter the holiday season be on the lookout for CAUSE representatives in your local domicile. When you purchase a Red and White Candy Cane seasonal scarf and tie you are helping to support fellow Flight Attendants in need. 

As we ramp up for holiday gift giving, consider placing your online orders through Amazon Smile or iGive. When you direct your online purchase through one of these sites, the CAUSE Foundation will receive donations each and every time you purchase something online. In other words, while you shop and spend money, you are helping to support the work of the CAUSE Foundation at the same time.  When ordering from Amazon,

  • Visit www.smile.amazon.com (instead of Amazon.com whenever shopping Amazon)
  • Register the CAUSE Foundation as your charity (you’ll need to scroll down the list. The CAUSE Foundation is the one listed in Parker, CO)

The website and prices are exactly the same. The only difference is that by using the AmazonSmile site, a portion of your purchase will go to The CAUSE Foundation.

Shopping via iGive is essentially a store rebate program where iGive members have the opportunity to donate their rebate to their chosen cause. iGive receives compensation beyond the posted donation amounts, and many stores pay to advertise on our site. When iGive members shop via iGive special links, an “iGive Cookie” is assigned to your browser. This tells the store, “Here is an iGive Member” using a meaningless member ID number. The store reports back with this number and the amounts for the donation to your cause. iGive never have access to any payment information.

Alternatively, you can always sign up to make a monthly donation to The CAUSE Foundation. 100% of your donation goes directly to Flight Attendants in need.

The CAUSE Foundation® was established in 1994 by Flight Attendants for Flight Attendants. Our mission is to assist United Airlines Flight Attendants and their families worldwide who are in financial distress due to illness, injury, or disability. The CAUSE Foundation® helps families maintain their dignity when faced with loss of income or overwhelming medical bills.

The dedicated efforts of the CAUSE Foundation are life altering for those who are the beneficiaries of this program helping Flight Attendants


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