E-Lines: June 21, 2019
June 21, 2019
Introducing Crew Scheduling Call Support Representatives
Effective Saturday, June 22, Inflight Crew Scheduling will roll out a pilot program that is intended to expedite the processing of inbound calls from Flight Attendants.
Management is introducing a new role: Crew Scheduling Call Support Representative.
This team of individuals will be dedicated to receiving all calls made to Crew Scheduling prompts via 1-800-FLT-LINE. Their responsibility is to quickly determine the nature of calls and to route these calls to the appropriate recipient which may include:
1. Crew Scheduler, or
2. Another support team outside of Scheduling (such as a FAST or a Hotel Operations representative.)
These Call Support Representatives will be trained in customer service, company telephone systems, and will have the information needed to direct your call to the right team to answer your question(s) or handle your concern(s).
This role was developed based on feedback that has been provided to management about hold times, efficiency, and customer contact.
This will be a proof of concept testing program which will begin on June 22 and will run through the month of July. During this test period, management will closely monitor and evaluate the overall effectiveness of the program with a focus on identifying additional opportunities to drive more efficient call management.
Please contact your Local Council office is you have questions or to provide feedback on your experience with these individuals.
When Traveling on Revenue Tickets are we Eligible for Consideration under the Commuter Program?
Recently, and as summer passenger loads increase, those of us commuting to work by air have found it necessary to consider purchasing revenue tickets in order to reliably make it to work. As the number of us purchasing tickets due to high passenger volumes increase, there has been a commensurate increase in the number of irregularities occurring as a result of unexpected weather that have adversely impacted our ability to arrive at work in plenty of time for our flight assignments, even when buying tickets.
As the number of these instances increases, many of us have begun to ask questions about how the Commuter Program provided for in Section 28 of our JCBA works when we purchase revenue tickets.
It is very important to understand that the Commuter Program (Section 28) was negotiated based on the concept that most Flight Attendants travel to work by air using Non-Revenue Space Available (NRSA) Pass Travel. It was under this premise that the Commuter Program was designed and negotiated. Section 28.B.4.b. outlines the specific requirements that must be met in order to qualify for consideration under the program:
- Flight Attendants must exercise good judgment and exert every reasonable effort to report for work, including having the reasonable potential to commute on either of at least two (2) flights listed through the Company’s employee reservations system.
- 24 hours prior to the flight’s departure time, both flights must be under authorization (levels) as displayed on the Company’s employee reservations system, including accounting for non-revenue space available travelers who are listed and have either a higher boarding priority or greater seniority than the commuting Flight Attendant.
- Both flights must be scheduled to arrive at the Flight Attendant’s domicile (or the point of her/his duty assignment) at least one hour prior to her/his report time.
It is also important to understand that when we purchase a revenue ticket(s) or a ticket(s) under the 20% discount program, United’s Travel Policy delineates we may not also list for space available travel in the same market on the same dates of travel. Once a myUAdiscount ticket is purchased, you may not cancel the confirmed reservation to revert back to a space-available listing on the same day, same trip.
It is because of these requirements that result when purchasing a ticket that these two travel options diverge. It is not that Flight Attendants who purchase tickets are not equally eligible to be considered under the Commuter Program. It is because of the rules that prevent us from listing while holding a confirmed reservation that the Commuter Program must be set aside and the action of the Flight Attendant who has purchased a ticket must be viewed and considered under a different set of circumstances.
In an instance where a Flight Attendant has purchased a revenue ticket to travel to work, it is the responsibility of the supervisor to evaluate the actions of the Flight Attendant in question and to determine if the action taken was sufficiently prudent to allow the Flight Attendant to get to work in the event of an irregularity. For example, when was the flight for which the ticket was purchased scheduled to arrive? Was the flight scheduled to arrive at the base or co-terminal where the flight assignment was scheduled to depart? Was there an alternate back-up flight on which the Flight Attendant could travel in the event of an irregularity? If all of the actions taken by the Flight Attendant can reasonably be viewed as having been “prudent” within the context of purchasing confirmed travel, a missed trip should not be assigned and there should be no attendance points assessed for any missed flight assignment.
Did You Know - Dual Boarding Using Air Stairs at Aft Entry Doors – No SOP Exists.
MEC Safety Health and Security Committee
Inflight Safety, Airport Operations and AFA are currently in discussions to review the development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) which meet regulations for Stockholm (ARN) to allow boarding/deplaning of passengers using a “Dual Boarding” process. That is, using one jet bridge and one set of air stairs at an aft entry door. Stations should NOT be using dual boarding/deplaning process with air stairs positioned at aft entry doors at this time as there is no SOP in place. This includes all Caribbean and South American stations as well as at Frankfurt.
Note: This procedure is to be distinguished from normal boarding and deplaning procedures (SOP) when using doors 1L & 2L for boarding/deplaning via dual jet bridges.
Until any new policy is announced and becomes effective, Flight Attendants presented with the prospect of dual door boarding/deplaning via air stairs, using an aft entry door in any location, are encouraged to remind the boarding agent that this practice does not have a Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). If an Airport Operations agent initiates the dual boarding/deplaning process over your objection with air stairs at an aft entry door, Flight Attendants are encouraged to promptly report the incident to the flight deck and file the appropriate ISAP or IOR safety report.
If, and when, SOP is developed for these procedures, Flight Attendants will receive communication and guidance advising them how and when Dual Boarding/Deplaning with one jetway and air stairs at an aft entry door is permitted under SOP. Until that time, please continue to follow your standard SOP for boarding and deplaning. Guidance will be released prior to any implementation of new SOP.
CAUTION, As Members of our Flight Attendant Union community, open discussion about provisions of our Contract and how they apply should never take place on social media or in a forum that is subject to management scrutiny. The same applies to our view of SOPs, FARs & security matters which should never be debated or presented on social media sites because it can potentially compromise our safety and that of our flying partners.
Flight Attendants are encouraged to contact their Local Council Safety, Health and Security Representatives when they have concerns or questions pertaining to SOPs, FARs & security or contractual issues.
Remaining 2019 Pride Events
AFA-CWA supports all LGBTQ Flight Attendants and workers as we fight for protections on the job and in our communities. AFA’s mission is to unite all Flight Attendants and promote equality and employment for all, regardless of race, color, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.Throughout the month of June Pride celebrations have been taking place across the nation.
Flight Attendants who would like to attend one of the remaining 2019 EQUAL Pride parades are encouraged to visit our website, @unitedafa.org for a list of remaining events taking place in your area. Celebrate LGBT Pride!
Sick Leave Administration and Compensation
Sick Leave Compensation is an area of our JCBA that both Lineholder and Reserve Flight Attendants continue to ask for clarification.
Section 13.D. of our JCBA provides the contractual language for sick leave pay for both Lineholder and Reserve Flight Attendants. The chart below defines the compensation parameters set forth on our Contract.
Lineholder – Section 13.D.4
Reserve – Section 13.D.5
A Lineholder on sick leave, shall be credited sick leave from her/his bank only up to the number of scheduled flight time hours missed.
13.D.5 When a Reserve goes on sick leave and she/he has not yet been assigned, or if she/he has been assigned but goes on sick leave prior to check-in, she/he shall be credited with the value of a reserve day. When a Reserve goes on sick leave after check-in, she/he shall be credited sick leave from her/his bank only up to the number of scheduled time hours missed.
When a Reserve calls out sick prior to an assigned trip or for a day they are on the reserve schedule but not assigned, they are compensated based on the Reserve Guarantee. The contractual language ofSection 4.O.1defines Reserve daily compensation in a 30-day month as four hours and twenty minutes (4:20) and in a 31-day month each Reserve day is paid at 4:07.
When a Flight Attendant is on sick leave for an entire month, she/he shall have the option of receiving sick leave pay for her/his projection that month, one-hundred (100) hours, or seventy-one (71) hour minimum, to the extent that she/he has sick leave accrued in her/his sick leave bank.
While out on any type of leave it is good practice to review your pay throughout the month to ensure your sick time compensation is being properly applied. Being proactive allows time for corrections to be made should an error be identified.
For additional questions regarding sick leave compensation contact your Local Council.
Final Opportunity to Request Satellite Base Transfer
Satellite bases at MCO, PHX and SAN are slated to open for the September 2019 Flight Attendant Schedule month. If you are interested in submitting a transfer request to one of these new Satellite bases, keep in mind the initial round of transfers will be awarded on Monday, June 24, 2019. Transfer requests may be submitted until Monday, June 24 at 0800 CST.
As a reminder, we know many people questioned where they would fall on the various satellite base transfer lists. We strongly encourage everyone who may have placed a transfer on file to one of the satellite bases to review those transfer requests and remove those for which you are no longer interested. By doing so, you will avoid restricting yourself from transfer for a three-month period.
Additional information can be found on our website, Unitedafa.org.
AFA Testifies Before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Sub-Committee on the Status of the Boeing 737 MAX.
On June 19, 2019, AFA testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Sub-Committee on the Status of the Boeing 737 MAX.
AFA International President Sara Nelson stated:
"Flight Attendants continue to receive questions from the traveling public about the 737 Max. There remains confusion about the progression of 737 aircraft models. It is common for crew to receive questions when working the 737NG about whether the aircraft is safe. This signals a fundamental question about the progression of the 737 aircraft models and whether or not the Max should have been designed as an entirely new aircraft type. This is an example of questions that will need to be answered within the process to safely return the 737 Max to flight and regain public confidence."
Flight Attendants are encouraged to read her full testimony and to remain informed and educated about the situation with the 737Max and how it effects our profession, and careers.
Additional information concerning the grounding of the 737 Max can be found on our website, @unitedafa.org.
Reminders and Quick Links
June 24 Transfer Bids to Satellite Bases Close 0800 CT
July 1-7 Absence Certificate Required for Absences July 1 – July 7
July 1 Handover Day - Hong Kong (Contractual Paid Holiday)
July 4 Independence Day- USA (Contractual Paid Holiday)