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E-Lines: August 20, 2019

Date: August 20, 2019

Crew App – Origin Unknown. Use Care  

During the past week, many Flight Attendants and Union representatives are being notified of having been signed up for a crew app that is described to allow texting between Flight Attendants.

To our knowledge, this doesn’t appear to be a company app and may, in fact, be a third-party app. Because the origin of this app is unknown, we have security concerns as to how this company has obtained our names and telephone numbers. More importantly, we don’t understand how any information obtained as a result of downloading the app may be used. Our immediate impression is that once the app is download it may, in fact, use your contact list to further distribute the app without action on your part.

It is our strong recommendation that you not download this app onto your telephone. Some who have done so report that texting “STOP” to the text alert number will stop the notifications. We will be working to determine the origin of this app in the days ahead and will report our findings once they are available.

Reserve Day of Availability Groupings at International Domiciles – FRA,HKG, LHR & NRT

Section 8.C.1 of our Contract provides for the grouping of Reserves based on days of availability.  Specifically, 1-day, 2-day, 3-day and 4-day or more days of availability in accordance with the number of “on schedule” days remaining before their next scheduled day off.  

Since October 1, 2018, Reserves at international locations (FRA, HKG, LHR & NRT) have continued to be grouped as was done traditionally under the terms of the pmUA 2012 – 2016 Agreement in 1-day, 2-day, 3-day, 4-day, 5-day & 6-days of availability.  

Over the course of the past several weeks, management has approached the Union to discuss the impact of changing from this traditional grouping process on both the productivity of the Reserves at these locations as well as the continued viability of these bases.

Following these discussions, AFA and United have reached an understanding to not change from the traditional grouping of Reserves at the four international bases only. As a result, Section 8.I.1. will be revised to sort Reserves at Hong Kong (HKG), Narita (NRT), Frankfurt (FRA) and London (LHR) in classifications of 1-day, 2-day, 3-day, 4-day, 5-day & 6-days of availability. 

Except for this specific modification, no other terms of our Contract are interpreted or modified by this change.

In terms of the practical impact of this change, there is none.  Reserves at the four (4) international bases will continue to be grouped as they have been in the Reserve Preference System since October 1, 2019.

9/11 Memorial & Museum Recognizes Flight Crewmembers - National Aviation Week August 19 - 25, 2019

The 9/11 Memorial & Museum recognizes National Aviation Week this week (August 19-25, 2019) by providing free Museum access to both active and retired crewmembers. Throughout the week, the Museum will feature flight crew-themed auditorium programming to highlight the September 11, 2001 chapter in aviation history and share these stories with Museum visitors.

AFA appreciates not only this week of recognition but more importantly the focus on the role of our heroes in Never Forgetting the events of September 11th. The role of aviation's first responders and last line of defense is one that is daily, year-round.   We encourage the 9/11 Memorial & Museum to recognize this commitment to aviation safety as we continue to serve in the wake of the September 11 th events by expanding access to crew members beyond National Aviation Week. Read more >

A Few Seats Remain for Flight 93 Journey of Remembrance
MEC Commutations Committee

In the early morning hours of 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 to “Always Remember, Never Forget”. Flight Attendants will participate in the September 11th Memorial Observance Ceremony where the names of those who lost their lives that day will be read as the Bells of Remembrance echo through the silence of the final resting place of those who lost their lives on Flight 93. 

The trip will be times to ensure 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 and to pay respect to those who perished that fateful day by observing a period of silence. We encourage Flight Attendants interested in attending to consider joining us as we stand together to Always Remember the Heroes of not only Flight 93 but all those who made the ultimate sacrifice on that day. We have a few seats remaining on the bus.  

Please contact: communications@unitedafa.org to register or contact the MEC Communications Committee at 847 292 7170.

Contractual Provisions of Holding and Short Crew Pay
JCBA Section 6.N.1 & 4.Q.

Flight Attendants unclear as to procedures when utilizing their JCBA contractual provisions for holding time pay and short crew pay are encouraged to review the following e-lines publications detailing the key components as to how pay is administered. 

January 4, 2019 E-lines publication, 
Holding Time Pay (Section 6.N.1) :is provided for in Section 6.N.1 of our JCBA and provides for ½ credit for pay purposes, including premium and language pay, when applicable on an actual minute basis for all holding time in excess of thirty minutes beyond scheduled ground time or block arrival time. Holding pay is paid in addition to all other compensation. 

*Note: While it is preferred that the Purser on the pairing complete the holding pay form to request holding pay for the entire crew in an effort to avoid the submission of multiple requests for the same flight segment, there may be circumstances where it may be necessary for you to contact Crew Pay to resolve the missing compensation. It is our expectation the Crew Pay will be responsive to your request when you place the call to them. 

March 20, 2019 E-Lines publicationShort Crew Pay (Section 4.Q.):is intended to provide working crewmembers with additional compensation when staffing levels on a particular flight do not meet the established staffing guideline. 

Short Crew pay is paid automatically. Look for Short Crew Pay in your Pay Register in the pairing details after the pairing is completed. The status of all holding pay requests will be sent to you at your corporate (united.com) email address. 

If you have additional questions contact your Local Council office for assistance.

Attendance and Dependability Point Values 
MEC Grievance Committee

A point system was negotiated to apply to attendance and dependability occurrences to provide consistency in the way attendance and dependability issues are addressed. 

Section23.F.1 of our JCBA defines how the point system will apply to attendance and dependability occurrences as set forth herein. The following occurrences shall generate the following points: 

Occurrence Points:


Point Values

a.Over 6 days

2 Points

b.6 days or less - without physician’s note

2 Points

c.6 days or less - with physician’s note

1.5 Points

Missed trip

3 Points

Late boarding that delays a flight

2.5 Points

Missed meeting or training

2 Points

Late Boarding, no flight delay

1.5 Points

Late check-in

1 Point


In the event a Flight Attendant has an illness/injury absence of 6 calendar days or less, she/he may elect to reduce the point value associated with the occurrence as detailed in Section 23.F.2. by providing a physician’s note that lists the following information:

1.    Date of illness or injury

2.    Date of examination

3.    Date of return to work, and

4.    Signature of the physician or physician’s designee on a document that contains, at a m minimum, the physician’s printed name, work address & work telephone number.

This note must be given to the Flight Attendant’s supervisor, not United medical, on or before the next scheduled pairing.

In an instance where a Flight Attendant incurs a missed trip (MT), she/he may reduce attendance points from 3 points to 2.5 points for the occurrence if she/he:

1.    Picks up a pairing that departs on the same day as the missed pairing and,

2.    Secures the assignment while physically present at the departure airport of the missed pairing.

Flight Attendants should always confirm that any reduced point assessment is accurately reflected in her/his work history.

Vacation Relief Line Process

As outlined in the monthly bid package cover letter, Flight Attendants may be awarded Vacation Relief Lines during the Primary bid period. During the primary bid period, Vacation Relief Lines (VRL) lines are awarded as follows:

International Purser Vacation Relief Line Range

2001 - 2199

Non-Intl Purser Vacation Relief Line Range

2201 - 2999

When Vacation Relief Lines of Flying are awarded, these lines are designated as follows:

International Purser Vacation Relief Line Awards

10001 – 10199

Non-Intl Purser Vacation Relief Line Awards

10201 – 10999

The Vacation Relief bid information for September schedules is as follows:

Vacation Relief Bids Open

August 20, 2019 at 8:00 PM HDT

Vacation Relief Bids Close

August 22, 2019 at 8:00 AM HDT

Vacation Relief Award Process Ends

August 23, 2019 by 8:00 AM HDT


It is important to point out that there is no self-adjustment process on the Vacation Relief Line award. VRL End of month (EOM) conflicts are adjusted immediately following the award of vacation relief lines by Crew Scheduling. Once awarded and adjusted, the VRL line is considered a Regular Line of Flying for trading, scheduling and legality purposes. 

For Step-by-step instructions on how to enter your vacation relief bid, reference the Bidding and Adjustment Guides available from our website at www.unitedafa.org

Taxi Reimbursement 

JCBA Section 5.D.4.b and 5.D.4.c

When a Flight Attendant’s scheduled Transportation arrives late or does not arrive at all, the Flight Attendant has the option to secure their own transportation to ensure their legal rest or the prompt completion of her/his duty period at the home domicile.

Section 5.D.4.b. 

Upon Termination, when such transportation is not provided by the Company within thirty (30) minutes and such transportation does not leave within forty-five (45) minutes after the Flight Attendant arrives at the airport and reports to Crew Scheduling, such Flight Attendant may use any other available means of ground transportation between one airport and the other and may claim expenses for such transportation, on the regular Company expense account form and such Flight Attendant shall be reimbursed for same. 

Section 5.D.4.c.

At layover points, if the public limousine service is provided by the Company does not leave within forty-five (45) minutes after the block arrival or thirty-five (35) minutes after block arrival where transportation is provided by the hotel. The Flight Attendant may use any other means of transportation to the place of lodging and may claim reimbursement for such transportation on the regular Company expense account form and the Flight Attendant shall be reimbursed therefor. 

Flight Attendants should maintain copies, or screen shots of any expenses they incur in addition to information about their pairing. They should promptly file an expense claim through Concur Solutions on Flying Together. When selecting the expense type under the *Transportation section make sure so select the appropriate option to ensure a prompt approval. 

For questions about reimbursement or the Concur system please contact your Local Council.

Local Council Worksheets Matter!
MEC Grievance Committee

As emphasized in the first segment of the new Upfront with Ken Diazvideo seriesFlight Attendants are encouraged to complete Local Council Worksheets in order to document contract violations. If you have additional questions, please contact your Local Council office.

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 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 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 AFA’s action to Stop Toxic Fumes at AFA-CWA.org or by contacting your Local Council Government Affairs Committee. 

New Zealand Requires Electronic Travel Authority – Effective October 1, 2019

The government of New Zealand has issued a new requirement for entry into the country. Effective for arrivals on or after Oct. 1, 2019, all travelers from visa-waiver countries, including the United States, who are traveling to or through New Zealand need to be approved for a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) and pay a tourism tax. The NZeTA costs between $9 and $12NZD, and the tourism tax (which doesn’t apply if you’re just transiting the country) is $35NZD.

An electronic travel authority (or electronic travel authorization), abbreviated as eTA, is electronic documentation that is required by some countries to indicate that a traveler from a visa-exempt country – who doesn’t have to go through the full visa application and screening process – has had a basic pre-screening prior to travel. The online application process needs to be completed in advance, either through the NZeTA mobile app or the New Zealand immigration website. Although most customers are being approved quickly, the application can take additional time to process. Each traveler’s NZeTA will be validated during check-in, and those who require an NZeTA but don’t hold a valid one will not be allowed to check in or board their flights. United is not able to accept or process the NZeTA application on behalf of travelers because of the personal information that’s required.

United has worked to proactively communicate this change to those customers who have booked or are booking travel to New Zealand on or after October 1. This applies to pass travel as well.

In addition, the company is reportedly working through a process for handling working crew ETAs for New Zealand.  Expect additional communications in the coming weeks. 

You can learn more or request an NZeTA through the New Zealand Immigration website, or download the NZeTA app through the App Store or Google Play.

Join Us Tomorrow - Bridge the Gap Nationwide Picketing 

Regional airline Air Wisconsin operates flights for United Airlines. Despite airline profits, Flight Attendants at Air Wisconsin are kept in poverty struggling to pay bills. Management has only proposed a 2% increase after 3 years of bargaining.

Wage rates for Air Wisconsin Flight Attendants have been frozen since 2007.

Trans States Holdings (owner of Compass and GoJet) is trying to lock Flight Attendants at GoJet and Compass into poverty wages with no or a minimal increase. GoJet Flight Attendants fly for United Airlines. Compass Flight Attendants fly for American Airlines and Delta Air Lines. 

Join us to fight back. Tomorrow, August 21st, we will be focused on actions at the following locations:

  • DCA National Airport, (Noon-1pm)
  • ORD Chicago O'Hare, (Noon-1pm)
  • LAX Airport, (Noon-1pm)

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