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Alcohol Use Policy Changes Effective as of August 17, 2019

Date: 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.

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