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E-Lines: November 24, 2020

Date: November 24, 2020

Vacation Seniority Trades and Advanced December Fly Through

Vacation Trades by Seniority opened today and will close on Monday, November 30th; at 0800 HDT.  Please review last Friday’s E-Lines or our Vacation Bidding information page on the AFA Website for details about this process.

Once Vacation Seniority Trades are completed the next phase initiates the on-going instant trade process which begins on December 5th.

Something to keep in mind that is unique to this month is the timing to submit requests for Advance Vacation Fly-Through. The option to submit an Advance Fly-Through is not possible, until the vacation process concludes on the 30th, meaning the earliest you can submit a vacation fly through request for 2021 is December 1. While this process is ongoing, the deadline to submit an Advance Vacation Fly Through for any vacation period beginning in January, (including those vacations that overlap into February) is December 5th at 1000 AM HDT. This is a narrower than usual window that is unique only because of its proximity to the end of the vacation bidding process.  Be sure not to miss it, especially if you intend to submit a request for an Advance Vacation Fly-Through for any vacation period beginning in January.

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.

 Pass Travel Privileges

There have been some questions on which Pass Travel Privileges apply for each of the groups of employees affected by the Reduction in Force. The following is a synopsis of travel eligibility along with KCM access:

Absence Type



Online UA/UAX

Interline Travel


Emergency Travel

My UA Discount









Special COLA








Voluntary Furlough
















Involuntary Furlough



180 days





*You must maintain Flight Attendant Qualifications

& Updated after publication.

# Through March 31, 2021, per ZED, MIBA and ISTA contractual obligations.  Otherwise, it’s only available to active or retired employees.
% Emergency travel may not be able to be self-booked through eRES. In that case, emergency travel requests need to be submitted through Help Hub.

Thanksgiving Day - Contractual U.S. Holiday

Thursday, November 26, U.S. Thanksgiving Day is a Contractual Holiday for pairings originating from bases in the United States and GUM.  We are paid a premium for working or being available on Reserve on this day.

  • Holiday Pay is calculated using a formula that considers the number of credited hours flown during the holiday pairing and how much time away from home the pairing has. 
  • Premium pay is not used when computing holiday pay. 
  • A Flight Attendant’s hours away from home begins at check-in time and ends at the return to your home base. 

Calculation for Holiday Pay is as follows:

For Lineholders:

Step 1 – Your hourly rate of pay is multiplied by the credited flight time for the pairing.

Step 2 – Take this number and divide it by the number of hours away from home

Step 3 – Take this new number and multiply it by the number of hours away from home falling within the holiday.

For Reserves:

Option 1 - If you are on Ready Reserve status and you do not fly then your hourly rate of pay multiplied by 4:13 (November is a 31-day month)

Option 2 - If you are on Ready Reserve status and you do fly, you use the Lineholder calculation or the calculation for a Reserve who does not fly (above), whichever is greater.

Option 3 – If you are a Reserve qualifying for 2-hour call out pay or 5-hour Standby Pay, you will receive double for those hours that fall within the holiday period.

Option 4 – If you are a Reserve and are released on a holiday (for the whole day, not following an assignment), you are not eligible for holiday pay.  Contact your Local Council with any questions.

Link Protection Program Deadline November 30 

This Monday, November 30 is the deadline for the full year protection program for the Link.  Enrollment details are available on our website.For those currently away from the work place, either voluntarily through Special COLA or voluntary furlough on involuntarily as a result of the reduction in force, who wish to purchase partial year coverage, you may do so when you return to work. For this option you will need to present your Link (and sled) when purchasing the protection for verification purposes to a supervisor in the base upon your return to flight duty.

United Management Reaches out to Furloughed Employees

In recent days, we’ve received questions from a number of Flight Attendants on furlough status who report they have recently received telephone calls from United management inquiring on their wellbeing.  Many of the callers who contacted our office sought to ensure these calls were legitimate calls from United management.

In conversations with senior management from Inflight, we have confirmed that United management will be making outreach calls to Flight Attendants on furlough status as a means of providing them with up to date information on the company.

Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts & Post-tax COBRA payments

We have to acknowledge the many changes in status that have occurred over the course of the past year have created considerable confusion as it pertains to employee access to Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) balances for the reimbursement of qualifying medical, dental and vision expenses as well as for over the counter medications that were made eligible mid-year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of you have reported that your FSA balances that were visible prior to the start of your Special COLA, voluntary or involuntary furlough have seemingly “disappeared” from the systems in YBR.   In point of fact, those balances have not disappeared; they have merely been “set aside” because additional review of any claims you may submit is required under IRS regulations.

You may request reimbursement for medical, dental, vision or other qualifying expenses that were incurred in any month during which you were contributing to your FSA account. In some instances, because of the unpaid status resulting from your time away from the work place, FSA contributions would not have been deducted because you were not working.  As a result, your FSA balance is “set aside” and any claims you may have will need to be reviewed to ensure the charges were incurred in a month during which you were contributing to your FSA account. 

As we approach the end of the calendar year, it is critically important that you understand the mechanism by which you are able to ensure those FSA dollars are available to you.  Despite the fact you may not be working, you do have the ability to continue contributions to your FSA on a post-tax basis.  You may ask, “Why would anyone contribute to her/his FSA on a post-tax basis?  Aren’t you losing the tax advantage?” In fact, yes, you do lose the advantage of making the pre-tax contribution but there can be a number of good reasons to consider making post-tax contributions chief among them, you regain access to any balance in your FSA.

If, as an example, you have a considerable FSA balance that has been “set aside” and you incurred qualifying expenses during a period of time when you were not working, by making your FSA contributions on a post-tax basis, you will have access to your full FSA balance and may submit expenses incurred during the time you were away from the workplace for reimbursement.  Essentially, by participating in the COBRA FSA program, you can reclaim those FSA funds for use this year.

In order to do this, you must contact the UABC within 60 days of October 1st (for those whose Special COLA, voluntary or involuntary furlough) to advise that you wish to contribute via COBRA to your FSA on a post-tax basis.  Contact the UABC at 800 651 1007 to enroll in COBRA FSA coverage.  The deadline to enroll in COBRA FSA is fast approaching.  Act now!

Reminder and Quick Links

November 24 – Vacation Seniority Trade Process Opens

November 26 - Thanksgiving Day

November 30 – Vacation Seniority Trades Processed

November 30 – Link Protection Program Closes


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