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E-Lines: August 16, 2019

Date: August 16, 2019

Alcohol Use Policy Changes Effective as of August 17, 2019 
MEC Grievance Committee

Effective tomorrow, Saturday, August 17, 2019, United Airlines policy as it applies to the consumption of alcohol prior to any on duty period will become effective. Specifically, this policy change prohibits the consumption of alcohol by Flight Attendants for the twelve (12) hour period prior to reporting for duty as well as anytime while on duty with the negotiated exception for deadheading Flight Attendants who meet all of the requirements set forth in Section 3.I. of our Contract. This is an increase to the former restriction where just prior to this change, Flight Attendants were prohibited from consuming alcohol less than eight (8) hours prior to reporting for duty.

Duty is predicated on the terms of Section 6.R. of our Contract.  Duty time begins when a Flight Attendant is required to report to fly, deadhead, or for Standby Reserve. Duty time continues through debriefing at home or at a layover, or when a Standby Reserve is released to begin a legal rest. There are extensions to duty time for circumstances related to clearing customs, holding time, etc. There is a maximum time a Flight Attendant may be scheduled to be on duty. This depends on the type of operation (Domestic or International), time of check-in, scheduled flight time, non-stop/multi-stop status, and scheduled activity within the pairing. The actual time a Flight Attendant may be on duty depends on the same factors.

As negotiated within our Collective Bargaining Agreement, deadheading Flight Attendants may drink alcoholic beverages while deadheading under the following conditions:

1.  Flight Attendant may not be in uniform.

2.  If a Lineholder, she/he does not have a scheduled flight departing within twelve (12) hours after scheduled arrival at a domicile or co-terminal point. At a non-domicile layover point she/he will not be legal to be reassigned or drafted to work any fight for at least twelve (12) hours after scheduled arrival.

3. If a Reserve, she/he would not be legal for assignment for twelve (12) hours after scheduled arrival at a domicile, co-terminal or non-domicile point.

4.  If the above conditions are met, the Flight Attendant may consume alcoholic beverages

a.  After takeoff, and

b. In the event of a multi-segment deadhead, may only drink on the final deadhead segment.

Additionally, individuals requesting cabin jumpseat authorization (CJA) are prohibited from consuming alcohol during the twelve (12) hour period prior to occupying a cabin jumpseat.

United management states this change has been implemented to help ensure Flight Attendants are in full compliance with the standards established by the United States as well as other locations worldwide where United operates.  Having said this, Flight Attendants must understand that the minimum compliance with United’s policy does not necessarily assure compliance with the Department of Transportation or other individual standards established around the world.  For example, some countries outside of the United States have different policies which include a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.00% and punishment criteria.  It is the sole responsibility of each Flight Attendant to report for duty as defined by the Company, DOT/FAA or the governing state or country of departure.

Learning Network CBT & Travel on Sick Leave Information  

The recent Learning Network CBT that Flight Attendants are required to complete by October 6, 2019 contains a slide that addresses the issue of travel while on sick leave. This slide is generating a number of questions on the subject of traveling while on sick leave.

On the CBT slide that addresses this issue appears the following verbiage while indicating the employee used in the example “should not take the trip”:

“We expect, in most instances, an employee who it too sick to work is also too sick to travel using his or her Leisure Pass Travel Privileges. If an employee has a question about the appropriateness of traveling while out on sick leave, he or she can clear travel with his or her supervisor or HR partner prior to travel.”

In the example, there is insufficient information to determine if the employee should or should not use his Leisure Pass Travel Privileges nor is there any information that would lead one to conclude there has been a misuse of travel privileges.

It should not be concluded from the CBT slide that there has been any change to the longstanding mutual understanding of how travel on sick leave works for Inflight. There is no disagreement between Labor Relations and the Union on how travel while on sick leave works. Inflight is administering travel while on sick leave consistent with the understanding of the company and the Union. “Permission” to travel is not required. However, when you are on sick leave and use your Leisure Pass Travel Privileges, you are accountable when doing so. In the event you travel while on sick leave and management has reason to believe that travel may be inappropriate, you should expect the company will investigate the instance.  

If, during the course of the investigation, the company finds there was a misuse of travel, there will be consequences which may include an investigation into the appropriateness of your use of sick leave and/or travel.  The results of the investigation may result in the company taking disciplinary action which may include placing your job at risk.

However, it cannot be emphasized enough that Flight Attendants are not required to obtain permission prior to traveling while on sick leave if you are clear that your use of travel while on sick leave is not a misuse of the privileges.

In the event you have additional questions, we recommend you contact your Local Council Office.

Some Apple MacBook Pro Computers Will Need to Remain Powered Off Inflight 
MEC Safety, Health & Security  

Apple has recalled some of its MacBook Pro Retina display15-inch laptops which were manufactured between September 2015 and February 2017 because they may have defective batteries. 

United has communicated the latest information on this issue to customers by providing updates on www.united.com and even reaching out directly to those with upcoming travel plans.

If a customer informs you that they have one of these devices, United policy is to advise the customer she/he will not be able to check the computer in checked baggage. Instead, she/he will need to power the Apple Mac Book Pro Retinadown before carrying it on board the aircraft.  The device cannot be used or plugged in on any United flights.

Customers have been provided a resource to help them identify whether a computer needs to be serviced by checking the serial number using this link: 


While we understand this may be a difficult message to deliver to the customer, ultimately this is a safety of flight issue.  If you encounter any difficulties when you advise them of United’s policy, we recommend you document the events using proper reporting procedures. If you are unclear if you should submit an IOR or an ISAP report based on the facts, contact your Local Council Safety, Health & Security Committee. 

New Haneda Flights Planned to Start in March 2020
Central Schedule Committee

New nonstop service from ORD, IAD, LAX and EWR to HND (Tokyo’s Haneda Airport) is set to begin on March 28, 2020, subject to government approval.  Tickets will go on sale as of Saturday, August 17. These routes which provide direct service in Tokyo’s downtown airport from five (5) U.S. markets, will join the existing SFO-HND daily nonstop service.

Service to NRT from DEN, GUM, HNL (Honolulu), IAH, LAX, EWR and SFO will continue. However, ORD-NRT and IAD-NRT service will be shifted exclusively to HND. This shift in flying that now includes both of Tokyo’s major airports will increase opportunities for connecting service to more than 65 popular destination locations across Asia.  The inauguration of these flights is planned in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Reassignments After Leaving Base   
MEC Grievance Committee

Over the course of the last ten months, Union and company representatives of the Joint Implementation Team (JIT) have continued to implement the scheduling provisions of the Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement (JCBA). In the course of these implementation efforts, reassignments have required the dedicated attention of the JIT. 

Through the course of meetings between AFA and the company, significant work has gone into developing and sharing a common understanding of the language in our Contract.  Going forward, after leaving the base, it is mutually understood that reassignments that return Flight Attendants beyond twelve (12) hours of the original scheduled arrival and/or eight (8) hours into a calendar day off will be treated strictly as reassignments.  This means:

On domestic pairings, reassignment pay will apply when a Flight Attendant is rescheduled to and actually returns to her/his base more than two (2) hours after the original scheduled arrival. 

On international pairings that are rescheduled downline to return more than twelve (12) hours beyond the original scheduled arrival and/or eight (8) hours into a calendar day off, reassignment pay is not provided for in the JCBA and will not be paid.

(Note: For international reassignments, there is currently a system defect which is posting reassignment pay to the Pay Register, in error. Crew Pay will continue to make adjustments to the Pay Register to correct these errors and will remove reassignment pay.)

In addition, AFA and the company have reached an agreement addressing how reassignment pay will be calculated when a Flight Attendant deviates (FAKE DHD) from deadhead on the final segment of their pairing which is as follows:

For pairings in which the Flight Attendant is reassigned to return to their base more than two (2) hours beyond the original scheduled arrive time, and the last segment is a deadhead back to base on which the Flight Attendant deviates, reassignment pay will be paid until the scheduled departure time of the original deadhead flight

While we are pleased to share the mutual understanding of how reassignments under these circumstances are paid, in no way does this alter the requirement under Section 7.Q.5.a. to return Flight Attendants to their base within twelve (12) hours of their original scheduled arrival, or that the reassignment cannot extend more than eight (8) hours into a calendar day off.   This understanding and the processes associated with these changes are effective as of August 1, 2019, going forward.

What, you may ask, does this mean for all those who have filed worksheets and NODs over the past couple of months?  AFA and the company will meet in the coming weeks to discuss resolution of these NODs. Additionally, we will continue our advocacy and look for opportunities work with United management in finding solutions that are in the best interest of our Members and the long-term success of our airline.

Seats Available for Flight 93 Journey of Remembrance  
MEC Commutations Committee

On September 11, 2019, a Journey of Remembrance to the Flight 93 National Memorial Park will depart from Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT). This will be a one-day event intended with the promise to “Always Remember, Never Forget”. Flight Attendants attending the September 11th Memorial Observance Ceremony, will be part of the Memorial Service where the names of those who lost their lives that day will be read as the Bells of Remembrance will toll and echo through the silence of the final resting place of those who lost their lives that day on Flight 93. 

Flight Attendants will have ample time at the Visitor Center, to walk the final flight path of Flight 93, meet with the family members and friends or to pay respect to those who perished that fateful day. We encourage Flight Attendants interested in attending to consider joining us as we stand together to remember the Heroes of Flight 93. We have a few seats remaining on the bus that is planned to leave from the Pittsburg International Airport the morning of September 11, 2019.  Please contact: communications@unitedafa.org to register.

Semi-Annual System Seniority List Published for Review July 25, 2019

The Semi-Annual System Seniority List was published and posted for review as of July 25, 2019. As provided under Section 14.C. of our Contract, the list shall be made available at all stations where Flight Attendants are domiciled for review.

If you believe that there is an error or omission since the last posting of the System Seniority list that affects your seniority, you should contact your Local Council representative immediately. Flight Attendants have thirty (30) calendar days from July 25, 2019 or until Tuesday, August 24, 2019 to dispute any alleged omission or error that affects your seniority. 

The exceptions to the 30-day rule are as follows:

  • Flight Attendants on vacation at the time of the posting
  • Flight Attendants on Leave of Absence at the time of the posting
  • Flight Attendants on furlough at the time of the posting
  • Flight Attendants on sick leave at the time of the posting

In these situations, Flight Attendants have thirty (30) days after returning to flight duty to report the discrepancy. 

Negotiated Base Pay Increase Effective for September Bid Month  
Section 4.A.

August 12, 2019 marked the three-year anniversary of the ratification of our 2016-2021 Contract.   As set forth in Section 4.A. of our Contract, base pay rates will be increased as of the first day of the September Flight Attendant schedule month or August 30, 2019 as determined by our individual seniority.  These rates will become effective for all flying done in September and will be reflected in our October advance and mid-month Pay Advices. Refer to the pay schedules & step increasesin Section 4.A. & 4.B.of our JCBA under the DOS +3 heading for your new hourly rate of pay. 

It should be noted we have negotiated into our Contract a $0.05 increase in Per Diem rates every other year.  Our next scheduled increase in Per Diem rates is scheduled for 2020.  

Central Schedule (CSC) Committee Monthly Reports
MEC Central Schedule Committee

Central Schedule Committee’s most recent reports reviewing the flying assigned at each domicile location (DSL) and the lines constructed at each domicile (SWLOF) in the development of the September schedule have been published on www.unitedafa.org

Scheduling On-Board Crew Rest Using Available Crew Rest Facilities  
Section 3.DD.

On-Board Rest, otherwise known as crew rest breaks, are an important provision of our negotiated contract. Crew Rest Breaks ensure that Flight Attendants are well rested and able to react to any emergency situation and to perform all necessary safety related tasks for which they have responsibility. 

Crew Rest is a negotiated provision of our Contract and International Pursers are responsible for scheduling these breaks to ensure all Members of the crew are provided an equal rest period consistent with all of the requirements of Section 3.DD. while, at the same time, completing all scheduled cabin services before starting any crew rest breaks.

We have received questions in the MEC Office about how Crew Rest breaks should be scheduled when staffing has been enhanced such that the number of Flight Attendants on the crew does not allow for the scheduling of two crew rest breaks given the available number of designated crew rest seats or bunks.

The International Purser is charged with the following responsibilities:       

  • Honoring seniority when scheduling and coordinating crew rest breaks among Flight Attendants.
  • Scheduling breaks to occur after completion of all schedule cabin services
  • Crew rest breaks are to be approximately evenly divided
  • Occur during non-service periods

In situations where there is not a sufficient number of crew rest bunks or designated crew rest seats that facilitate a two-break split, the International Purser is required to adjust the break schedule so all crew rest breaks occur in an approved area for all Members of the Crew.  If necessary, this may require the scheduling of three breaks of all approximately equal length.

For additional information concerning the procedures when scheduling crew rest breaks review E-lines publication, dated May 3, 2019  Scheduling Crew Rest Breaks. Additional information can be found in Section 3.DD. of our Contract.

Bridge the Gap Nationwide Picketing - Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019

This Wednesday, we’ll be out on the picket line across the country fighting to Bridge the Gap for Flight Attendants at regional airlines. We’re targeting DCA, ORD, and LAX to push negotiations forward at United Express carriers Air Wisconsin, GoJet, and Delta Connection/American Eagle carrier Compass! 

Flight Attendants at regional airlines serve as aviation’s first responders on American, United, Delta. They do the same work and care for the same passengers as mainline Delta, American, and United flights, but are compensated on average 45% less. This is not right! 

Join us to fight back. On Wednesday, we will be focused on actions at these locations:

  • DCA National Airport,12-1pm, Terminal B South Terrace Departures 
  • ORD Chicago O'Hare, 12-1pm, Departure Level between Terminals 1 & 2
  • LAX Airport, 12-1pm, Departure Level between Terminals 4 & 5


TAKE ACTION: Stop Toxic Fumes!
MEC Government Affairs Committee

The Cabin Air Safety Act of 2019 (H.R.2208 or S.1112) aims to legislate protection for airline passengers and crew from the harmful effects of toxic cabin air. AFA continues efforts to improve the cabin environment by advocating that the airline industry either end the use of engine bleed air for cabin air supply (as has been done on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner) or mitigate the circulation of contaminated air. 

How can members help to ensure this important piece of safety legislation becomes law? CALL!

Call Your Representative: 866-937-4359

Call Your Senators: 877-750-7411        

             “Hi, my name is ________. As a constituent and a Flight Attendant, I am calling to ask you to cosponsor the Cabin Air Safety Act of 2019. Flight Attendants and passengers can be exposed to toxic fumes in the cabin. We need the FAA to intervene and implement protections. Support clean air onboard for passengers and Flight Attendants. 

You can learn more about how AFA’s action to Stop Toxic Fumes at AFA-CWA.org or by contacting your Government Affairs Committee. 

Reminders and Quick Links

August 17           Alcohol Use Policy Changes Effective  
August 19 - 25    National Aviation Week

September 2       U.S. Labor Day
September 11     9/11 Memorial Ceremonies Nationwide

October 6            CBT Completion Required           



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