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E-Lines: October 23, 2020

Date: October 23, 2020

Reciprocal Cabin Jumpseat Agreements Expanded 

Last spring, we announced that we had achieved reciprocal cabin jumpseat agreements, effective June 1, 2020 with some United Express (UAX) Carriers. The agreement allows Flight Attendants from those carriers to jumpseat on United flights, and where an additional jumpseat is available, for United Flight Attendants to jumpseat on their aircraft that are operating in the United system. 

Flight Attendants from the following UAX partners can jumpseat on United Flights:

  •  Air Wisconsin
  • CommutAir
  • GoJet Airlines
  • Mesa Airlines
  • Republic Airways

The following UAX partners operate aircraft in the United system with a cabin jumpseat available to mainline United Flight Attendants:

  • GoJet Airlines: CRJ-550
  • Republic Airways: Embraer 175 (Note: Republic operates both the Embraer 170 and 175. Only the Embraer 175 is equipped with an additional cabin jumpseat.)

Things to know about these expanded agreements:

  • Self-listing can be accomplished through employeeRES or the United App.
  • A single listing cannot contain both UAX and UA mainline flights. Separate listings must be completed.
  • This reciprocal jumpseat agreement applies to flights operating within the 50 United States.
  • Alternate jumpseat assignments on certain aircraft may need to be assigned to promote social distancing.
  • United flight attendants have priority for mainline United cabin jumpseats at all times, which may affect the listing priority for UAX Flight Attendants already cleared for a jumpseat, up to 10-minutes before departure.
  • Flight Attendants of the operating United Express carrier have priority for their cabin jumpseat.
  • All other jumpseat policies and guidelines between UA and UAX remain unchanged
  • With the launch of the new employeeRES, a Reciprocal Jumpseat FAQ document was developed. The FAQ is applicable to jumpseat qualified employees in Inflight, Flight Operations, and dispatch.


Link App IOR Work Around
MEC Safety Health and Security Committee

Due to a recent error message when filing an Irregular Operations report (IOR) while using your Link. Flight Attendants should use the following work-around while this issue is being resolved:

Open a browser on your Link, then type: asap.ual.com and click on the New IOR Report button.

Flight Attendants should file an IOR report anytime there is an unusual event or incident in the cabin. 

Always be sure to indicate that you want a copy sent to AFA.  Questions or concerns regarding IOR reporting or an out of the ordinary event should be directed to your Local Council Safety, Health and Security Committee.

 Your Vote is Your Voice: Make it Heard!  
MEC Government Affairs Committee

On November 3, our country will place the process of democracy on the world stage. In several states, ballots for the General Election are already being cast in what is no doubt the most important election of our lifetimes. It’s up to all of us to ensure our votes are cast and counted. This election brings unprecedented challenges as we vote amid a global pandemic. We need to be prepared.

Election Day is less than a month away. Through Early or Mail-In Voting, millions of Americans have already cast their vote. Voting is at the core of our democratic way of life and every one of us must ensure we exercise this fundamental right. To find out more about 2020 voting, click here.

Vacation Bidding Now Open. 

 As we discussed in our last E-Lines, Vacation bidding opened today, October 23rd and will close on October 31. We encourage everyone who wishes to participate to bid during this first round of bidding to ensure you have a positive outcome on the days you’d like to hold.

Buy Back Vacation Change

If you elected to participate in the Vacation Buy Back, you need to be aware of Section 12.D.7. of our Contract that provides that Vacation Buy Back shall not be utilized during a Flight Attendant furlough.

While we remain hopeful that Congress will enact the CARES Act, Vacation bidding opened today and there was pre-work with regard to allocations that needed to be completed in the days immediately prior to bids opening.  Regrettably, Vacation Buy Back cannot be completed because the furlough issue is not resolved and the company needs to include the appropriate number of vacation days in the allocation tales.  Vacation Buy Back has been backed out from the vacation screens and any days initially specified for Buy Back are now included in your vacation allocation for bidding.

For this reason, we strongly encourage you to view any updated vacation allocation, which may have recently changed, to bid during this first bid period.  

What Happens if I Don't Bid for Vacation?

If a Flight Attendant does not submit a vacation bid in the first round of bidding, they will be considered a No Bid. No vacation will be assigned during the first round of vacation bidding. You will, however, be required to bid all of your accrued days in the second vacation bid round. If a Flight Attendant does not submit a vacation bid in the second round of bidding, she/he will automatically be assigned a vacation. Keep in mind, the vacation you are assigned will be after the second-round vacation awards have been completed for all Flight Attendants submitting a bid. The assigned vacation will be made in seniority order from December backward through January, with the largest block of days being assigned first.

What if My Bid is considered an Insufficient Bid?

When a Flight Attendant submits a vacation bid and is unable to hold any of her/his selections, she/he is considered an Insufficient Bid. In this instance, vacation is assigned in seniority order from December backward through January after that round of vacation has been awarded to all bidders. The assignment shall be based on the number of days in your bid with the largest block of days assigned first.

2021 Flight Attendant Vacation Timeline

Vacation Timeline



Open Vacation Election Period

By September 25


Close Election Period

On October 15

By 0800 HDT

Begin First Vacation Bid Period

By October 23


Close First Vacation Bid Period

On October 31

By 0800 HDT

Post First Vacation Awards

By November 4


Begin Second Vacation Bid Period

By November 8


Close Second Vacation Bid Period

On November 16

By 0800 HDT

Post Second Vacation Awards

By November 20


Vacation Allocations Published

By November 24


Trades Awarded by Seniority

On November 30


Final Vacation Allocations Published

By December 4


Instant Trading Open

On December 5


For additional information regarding 2021 Vacation bidding reference the 2021 vacation page on Unitedafa.org. 

Vacation Reduction While on Occupational Leave. 

Now that Vacation Accrual Letters have been published, we are beginning to receive questions from Flight Attendants who have had an occupational illness or injury and who were absent from the work place during the vacation accrual year from August 30, 2019 – August 29, 2020.

Section 12.A.8. of our Contract provides the circumstances under which vacation is reduced for Leaves of Absence and specifically provides for an exception when Flight Attendants are on an Occupational Leave of Absence.

When a Flight Attendant is away from work due to an Occupational Illness or injury, she/he may be on one of two different statuses;

1.     Occupational Leave of Absence

2.     Occupational Extended Illness status

There are significant differences between these two statuses.

While on an Occupational Leave of Absence, affected Flight Attendants receive Temporary Total Disability (TTD) payments from Sedgewick, United’s Occupational Injury administrator which is not paid via United’s payroll system. However, because they are on a Leave of Absence, their vacation accrual for the period of absence is protected by the language in Section 12.A.8.

Conversely, Flight Attendants on Occupational Extended Illness status receive not only the TTD payments from Sedgewick, the are also eligible to receive supplemental pay from their occupational or personal sick leave bank and, most importantly, she/he remains on an active status – not a leave of absence. While on this status, she/he must also reach the paid activity metrics required to accrue vacation.  Supplemental pay is predicated on the pay option elected (or defaulted) into by the individual Flight Attendant based on either the line value, the minimum (71 hours) or the maximum (100 hours.)

Review the following article on our website for additional examples.

If you have additional questions as to why you do not have full vacation accrual, contact the Vacation Team during their regular business hours.

Efforts on Payroll Support Program Continue

Flight Attendants in the Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Denver, and Houston turned out for #ReliefNow events over the last week.

During this past week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the White House's chief negotiator have continued to pursue a stimulus package and Payroll Support Program.  It’s been a long, difficult week and we aren’t giving up in our efforts to get the job done!

Stay strong, check in on each other, and take care of yourself. We are stronger together and better together. 

Call Congress

SENATE: 888-848-4824


"Hello, I am a constituent calling to tell my (Senator/Representative) that aviation workers are out of time. We need #ReliefNow -- TODAY! Furloughs have begun and more are expected. We need relief and an extension of the Payroll Support Program. Without an extension of this successful jobs and infrastructure program, the mass job loss will continue and more communities will lose air service. This is just the start. Inaction is not an option. We need a full COVID-19 relief bill to #ExtendPSP now. Thank you.”

Tweet Your Representative and Senators (add pictures of you in uniform to each!):

We've made it easy to Tweet at your lawmakers. Click here to get started. Or, you can copy and paste the following Tweets into your Twitter. 


  • Get the agreement locked in before the election! We are hurting, losing our jobs, healthcare, homes, more. We need #ReliefNow, not later. NOW. Get it done. #ExtendPSP
  • Massive layoffs have begun for Flight Attendants & aviation workers. We only have a short time to reverse course. Extend the Payroll Support Program TODAY, [tag your Senators/Representative]! Pass #ReliefNow to save my job & healthcare! #ExtendPSP
  • I’m one of thousands of furloughed Flight Attendants who needs [tag your Senators/Representative] to act to extend the Payroll Support Program TODAY. We need #ReliefNow! #ExtendPSP
  • Tell your personal story using the hashtags #ReliefNow and #ExtendPSP

If you do not know your Senators or Representatives' Twitter handles you can find them here! Don't have Twitter, set up an account today to take action. Here's how >

 Reminder - Link Election Coverage Opens October 22, 2020. 

Make your election from October 22 through November 30 by going to Link/Sled Recovery Protection Plan – Standard Enrollment Period in Help Hub.

  • The cost is $30 for coverage from December 1, 2020 through November 30, 2021. The cost will be deducted from your paycheck.
  • By opting in, your annual enrollment fee of $30 covers the first replacement claim for a lost or stolen Link/sled. Any additional replacement claims will be paid by the employee at the replacement fee costs ($300 for Link and $75 for sled).
  • If you don’t make an election, you’re automatically opted out and will be responsible for paying the replacement charges for a lost or stolen Link/sled. 

If you currently have Safeware™ coverage this year, our coverage plan will be extended to November 30, 2020 at no additional cost. If you need to verify your coverage, simply call Link Support. If you’re not currently enrolled and would like to obtain coverage for the month of November before the new coverage period begins, you can opt in for a prorated cost by sending an email to linkinsurance@united.com with your name and employee number.

2021 Pass Travel Enrollment set to Open in November

This year the 2021 pass travel enrollment will open a bit early in an effort to give everyone time to make their selections. Watch for additional information to be released next month. Enrollment will begin on November 16th and will close on December 18th at 11:59 PM, CT. 

For those Flight Attendants planning to select an enrolled friend in lieu of buddy passes. If you have not decided on that friend at the time of enrollment you can make the selection and add the individual’s information at a later date. However, once you add the information you will not be able to change the participant until the following years enrollment period. 

 Third Trimester CBT – Required to Maintain FAA Qualifications. 

The Third Trimester CBT is now available for completion and is required to be completed by, October 30, 2020 at 2359 Central Standard Time. Log into TakeOff Learning and select Continuing Qualifications (CQ) 2020 Trimester 3. Compensation for completion of this training is outlined in our Contract.

We want to shift the focus on completion of this particular training module. 


Completion of this training module is required to maintain your FAA qualifications. Failure to complete this training will result in the need for you to attend requalification training after December 1, 2020.


We encourage you to make the dedicated effort to complete the 3rd Trimester CBT prior to the October 30, 2020 deadline.

Transitioning to Reserve in November – Checklist. 

For those Flight Attendants transitioning to Reserve status for the November bid month, we have updated the following checklist of important items to review and accomplish, if necessary, prior to going back on Reserve.

These include but are not limited to: Restore Reserve + days of availability, resolve End of Month 1-in-7 conflicts, verify contact Information, Input Reserve and Ready Reserve Preferences, ascertain next-day assignment, be telephone available when required, report at check-in time, block-in following assignment.

Please review our updated guide on the AFA website. [link]


Annual Benefits Enrollment for Active Employees Open Now – 30th
MEC Benefits Committee

Active employee Benefits enrollment for 2021 is now open. Flight Attendants, including those in the IVFMP, can make their selections now through October 30th online by visiting Flying Together. 

Nothing could be more critical to understanding your benefits than taking the time to understand not only the costs, but all of the aspects of the plan. This year, United is promoting a new Healthy Advantage HAS PPO plan.  

There has been some confusion for those of us who have participated in the Traditional PPO plan with this one, most notably because of a higher deductible. The Healthy Advantage HAS PPO is not our Contractual Traditional PPO plan.

There are significant differences in deductibles and other differing costs.  The new plan may better fit your needs, or the Traditional may be the right choice.  Be sure you take the time to understand the differences to ensure you avoid making an unintended selection of PPO plans if that is your choice.

We’ve also received some questions regarding Flexible Spending Accounts.  If your FSA account has been impacted, it will be restored this weekend and will show the correct amount by October 26.  You will be able to submit claims via YBR at that time.


Open Enrollment for Active vs Inactive employees:

  • Active Employee Open Enrollment opened on October 19 and will remain open through October 30, 2020.
  • Open Enrollment for non-active employees, including those on voluntary and involuntary furlough, will open November 2 through November 13.

It’s imperative to note that the non-active employee group includes Voluntary and Involuntary Furloughed Flight Attendants, as well as separated employees as a result of the International Base closure.  Flight Attendants in these categories may change their coverage elections for 2021, the period when some of you may be covered by COBRA, so don’t forget to make your selections.

For non-active employees on COBRA, while you currently have been enrolled in “default” coverage you must pay your first bill in order for you to be recognized at your healthcare providers.  You can pay your first bill directly on YBR.  Using any web browser:  YBR.com/united.   After you pay your first bill, healthcare providers will be updated within a few days.

Remember, you are still within your COBRA election window to make changes or opt out of continued coverage through COBRA. You have 60 days from October 1, 2020 to make any changes.

AFA Disaster Relief Fund. 

We know that disasters can change lives forever.  While we can’t stop destructive events from happening, we can, as a Union, assist our members with their recovery.  AFA established the Disaster Relief Fund after September 11th to assist our members whose lives were placed in harm's way.  AFA members and retirees, whose primary residence is in the counties listed below and who have suffered damage and/or dislocation, are eligible for $200.00 from the AFA-CWA Disaster Relief Fund.  It is a gift made possible by the generosity of your fellow union sisters and brothers with AFA.

Hurricane Laura (Louisiana):

Parishes: Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Caddo, Calcasieu, Cameron, Grant, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, La Salle, Lincoln, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Sabine, St. Landry, Union, Vermilion, Vernon, Winn

California Wildfires:

Counties: Butte, Fresno, Lake, Lassen, Los Angeles, Medera, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Trinity, Tulare and Yolo

Oregon Wildfires:

Counties: Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion

Hurricane Sally (Alabama):

Counties: Baldwin, Escambia, Mobile

Hurricane Delta (Louisiana):

Parishes: Acadia, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, Vermilion  

If you would like to apply for AFA-CWA Disaster Relief Funds, visit www.afacwa.org/drf and download the Disaster Relief Fund Application and mail it to AFA-CWA EAP Department, 6th Floor, 501 Third Street NW, Washington D.C.  20001-2797.   You can also e-mail this same information requested to lfoster@afanet.org or phone in the necessary information to 1-800-424-2406. 

If you wish to make a contribution either by check or electronic payment, please visit www.afacwa.org/drf for more information on donating.

MEC Central Schedule Committee SWLOF Report
Central Schedule Committee

Central Schedule Committee's most recent SWLOF report detailing their activities in the development of the schedule have been published on unitedafa.org.

Click here to review the report >

Reminder and Quick Links

October 1-31 - Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October 19 - 30th Annual Benefits Enrollment
October 22 - Link Internal Protection Plan Enrollment Opens
October 23 - First round Vacation Bidding Opens
October 30 - Third Trimester CBT Due
October 31 - First Round Vacation Bidding Closes by 8:00 AM HDT

November 3 – Vote!

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