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E-Lines: March 08, 2019

Date: March 8, 2019

Daylight Saving Time - Spring Forward Sunday, March 10, 2019 

On Sunday March 10, 2019 we will “Spring Ahead” to the U.S. Daylight Savings Time at 2:00AM. It is important to recognize that this is the day where we get one hour less sleep and, if on a flight assignment, a one (1) hour shorter layover as provided in Section 6.V.3.d. of our JCBA, unless such reduction would result in a legal rest period below the established FAA minimum.

Set your clock ahead one hour before you go to bed on Saturday night to capture the change to Daylight Savings Time and ensure you are on time for any assignments on Sunday.


The Value of Turbulence Line Operation Safety Audits (LOSA) – A Collaborative Approach  

Any Flight Attendant injury that might result from turbulence that can be avoided has value; not only for the person who avoids the injury but for all of us collectively in an environment where safety is the highest priority.  Within the context of avoiding Flight Attendant injuries, Line Operation Safety Audits (LOSA) also have value and enhance our collective safety by identifying areas where improvement in procedures and processes are possible.

In an effort to ensure the safety of United Flight Attendants, the Flight Operations, Inflight, Dispatch and Safety divisions of United Airlines are partnering with the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) and the Professional Airline Flight Control Association (PAFCA) to develop a Line Operations Safety Audit (LOSA) program that will explore how turbulence related policies and procedures of these various divisions interact and ultimately affect Flight Attendants.  

This is the first time The LOSA Collaborative is doing a simultaneous observation program on the flight deck, in the cabin and with dispatch. As no such project has ever been attempted, a test is necessary to ensure our dedicated efforts are successful. If the observations prove to be successful, then United will look to do a larger scale observation program in the future.

The LOSA Collaborative is trusted by many of the world's leading civil and defense aviation operators, through Line Operation Safety Audits, to give a true picture of frontline flying. Read the FAQ on the Value of Turbulence Line Operation Safety Audits (LOSA) to learn more.

Welcome New Hire Class 1904!

MEC Communications Committee

On Friday, March 8, 2019 we welcomed the 40 graduating Members of class 1904 to the line. Our newest flying partners will be reporting to their respective bases at DEN, EWR, IAD and SFO on March 15, 2019, for orientation and will be available to fly on March 17, 2019. Please join us in welcoming the newest Members of our Flight Attendant community.



Special Qualification Pairings in Open Time (IP & LQ)

MEC Communications Committee


There continues to be some confusion about whether or not Flight Attendants [who are not International Pursers or Language Qualified] can pick up IP and/ or LQ pairings from open time.

In order to provide for the best opportunity for Flight Attendants who are International Pursers or Language Qualified to fill these open positions, our contract limits the opportunity for non-qualified Flight Attendants to be able to pick up these open positions to less than 14 hours prior to departure. The only situation where these pick-ups can be denied is if Scheduling anticipates that a Reserve with the special qualification will be used to cover the pairing.

Please reference JCBA Sections 7.I.20., 7.J., 7.K. & 7.L. 

Taxes Withheld from Profit Sharing Deposits Made to Tax Deferred 401(k) Accounts Explained

We have received a number of inquiries from Flight Attendants who elected to have their Profit-Sharing proceeds directed to a tax deferred 401(k) account and are noticing a variety of taxes, including Federal Income taxes, being withheld.

While it is true that money directed into a tax deferred 401(k) account is not subject to Federal Withholding, even when directed into the tax deferred 401(k) account, the Profit-Sharing proceeds are subject to FICA (Social Security and Medicare) withholding, CA state disability withholding as well as some other State and Local taxes, where applicable.  

Further, the money withheld from the Profit-Sharing payment to pay these FICA, state disability and other taxes is considered wages for the purposes of the Federal tax code.   As a result, the money withheld from the Profit Sharing to pay these various tax and disability amounts is reported as wages and is further subject to Federal tax withholding.  It is for this reason that you will see Federal Taxes withheld from the Profit-Sharing proceeds that have been directed into the 401(k) accounts.

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

47th Annual Board of Directors (BOD) Meeting March 20th Denver, CO.

MEC Communications Committee



Our 47th Annual Board of Directors (BOD) meeting will be held March 20th, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. This is a one-day budget only meeting where our leadership is tasked with approving the annual AFA budget. Local Councils that are planning a Local meeting prior to the BOD are currently scheduling the date, location and times.  Meeting announcements can be found on the Local Council pages @unitedafa.org. We will make these available as we receive information.

Spring 2019 Regular Meeting of the United Master Executive Council 

MEC Communications Committee

April 16 - 17, 2019, your Local Council Leaders will attend the Spring 2019 Regular Meeting of the United Master Executive Council (MEC). This meeting will be held in Chicago at the Hyatt Rosemont, 6350 N. River Road, Rosemont, IL 60018. Your Local Council President, joined by the 15 other Presidents from around our system, will address the business of our Union and the issues that are important to you.

At the upcoming spring Meeting, the United AFA MEC Officers will provide updates on issues they have been working on since our last regular meeting. During this same meeting, elections for open MEC Committee positions will be conducted.  Election information, including qualifications and responsibilities of each available position, are available on the MEC Election Page of our website.


We encourage Members to see our democratic process in action by attending your Local Council meetings and, if you are in the Chicago area on April 16-17, 2019 attend the MEC Spring Meeting. Scheduled dates and times for your Local Council meeting and the MEC Meeting agenda will be posted on our website as they become available.

Solidarity and Unity – the Keys to our Collective Success

MEC Communications Committee

Solidarity and Unity are terms referred to often in a Union environment. In point of fact, the term solidarity is defined using the word unity.   Both are essential and required for the best outcomes for Union members. Respecting differences, finding common ground, choosing to be engaged, participating in meetings, joining committees, voting and respecting the outcome from democratic votes all empower us as Unified Flight Attendants to achieve our collective goals and provide us the best leverage not only in contract negotiations but also in our collective day to day AFA-CWA advocacy for Flight Attendant.

AFA-CWA – Our Union Structure

MEC Communications Committee

Our AFA structure is successful because the Flight Attendant Membership based at each location elects their Local Executive Council (LEC) leadership from among their peers.  These are the leaders who are based where you work and who are elected to represent the interests of the Local Council.  Once elected, these are the individuals to whom you express your concerns, present problems or questions, present suggestions for improvements within our Union or from whom you seek assistance in resolving day-to-day problems.

At each airline, the Master Executive Council (MEC) is comprised of the Presidents from each of the Local Councils and this group forms the Union’s governing body for that airline.  The Master Executive Council works on behalf of the entire Membership at the airline to advance the collective priorities for all of the Flight Attendants at the airline.  An integral component in advancing issues for the collective Membership at the airline is the work of the Committee Members who are specialists in a variety of fields.  Committee Members work at the direction of the Master Executive Council Officers and are elected by the Local Council Presidents with input from you.

The Executive Board consists of the Master Executive (MEC) Presidents at each of the AFA airlines.  The Executive Board provides guidance to the International Officers and ensures the policies and procedures of the Union are upheld.

To reiterate, The Master Executive Council (MEC) structure (at United, all 16 elected Local Presidents) is central to our union because it ensures that the directly-elected leaders of our union coordinate through one body to address our issues with management and provide support for each other at work. This structure is fundamental to any union because it allows us to use the power and influence of our collective voices to protect our jobs and advance our goals.

2019 MEC Grievance Training Concludes in Chicago

This week, the United Master Executive Council (MEC) Grievance Committee conducted their annual Grievance Training in Chicago. Attending the two-day training were 18 of our flying partners from BOS, CLE, DEN, EWR, GUM, HKG, LAX and SFO. These volunteers reviewed the Grievance Committee responsibilities and learned about the various procedures used in defending our Contract. 

We recognize and congratulate these volunteers who have stepped forward to do this important work on behalf of all Flight Attendants.



Seat Belt Compliance Checks – It’s part of the job!

MEC Safety Health and Security Committee

The use of seatbelts for cabin occupants two years and older is required on all aircraft during surface movement, takeoff and landing, in accordance with FAR 121.311. The flight deck is responsible for illuminating the Fasten Seat Belt sign. Flight Attendants are required to make PA announcements at regular intervals in those instances when the Fasten Seat Belt sign is illuminated during prolonged periods, or if passengers do not comply when the sign is illuminated. 

In addition to the PA announcements Flight Attendants are required to complete a cabin compliance check anytime the Fasten Seat Belt sign is turned on during flight, except if instructed by pilots to take their jumpseats, remain seated or during moderate to severe turbulence, as stated as part of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).

If you have any questions, please contact your Local Council Safety Representatives for assistance. 

Celebrating International Women’s Day 

March 8, 2019, today, is International Women’s Day.  This day in history can be traced to March 8, 1857 when textile workers on New York’s Lower East Side demonstrated and stood up for their rights. It remains as true as ever that union membership is the best defense against discrimination.


We honor the women who founded the Flight Attendant profession. These fearless women provided the foundation for AFA to fight against discrimination on the job including age, weight, race, marital status, having children, even for men to have the same rights to the position. Today, we honor their legacy by ensuring full equality and respect for our role as aviation's first responders.











Reminders and Quick Links

March 10            Daylight Savings Time – Spring Forward One Hour
March 17            St Patrick’s Day 
March 20            AFA – CWA Board of Directors Meeting – Budget Only Denver, Colorado

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