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E-Lines: November 06, 2020

Date: November 6, 2020

Today’s Reality

Today was the day, by 4:00PM CT, many of our flying partners from FRA, HKG and NRT had to decide to convert their October 1, 2020 separation to a retirement or resignation in order to maintain the benefits they earned over their dedicated careers, many spanning more than a quarter century.     

In addition, many of our colleagues from these now closed international bases remain separated from the company while working to obtain the necessary paperwork to establish their right to work in the United States and others remain hopeful for the opportunity to be re-employed through potential openings in LHR or another international base. And, there are those who have transferred to a base stateside and now join us flying from the U.S. bases & satellites.  

This is not the outcome any of us wanted or would have expected for these dedicated, long-term employees. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has decimated our industry and our airline since we started this fight after the company announced the closure of these bases.

We know that issues regarding benefits and pass travel privileges remain and we will continue to press forward with the company on behalf of these Members to get these established. The three (3) Local Councils continue to close out issues and will be available to assist should issues arise. These Members are part of our Union family and we want all of them to know we will be here when there are issues with which we can assist.

As a reminder, our EAP/Professional Standards peer professionals remain available to assist with the transition to resignation or retirement and we all stand ready to support those who remain hopeful for the opportunity to re-join our ranks. Contact EAP at 800 424 2406. We’re here to help.

 Reserves Are “Free-From-Contact” Once Assigned

 MEC Reserve Committee

As provided in Sections 8.D.11, 8.E.2. and 8.F.1. of our Contract, once a Reserve has been given an assignment, either during the 1930 Reserve Preferencing and Clean-up process or as a Ready Reserve within 15 hours of check-in , they are no longer required to remain telephone available. In other words, the Reserve is “released to check-in.”

While the company may attempt to contact an assigned Reserve (outside of a legal rest period) to notify her/him of a delay or cancellation, once released to check-in, the Reserve’s next responsibility is to report for the originally assigned check-in at the appropriate location. If the Reserve reports to the airport and is notified upon arrival of displacement or cancellation, they may be reassigned at that time. However, the duty period begins at the time the Reserve was originally scheduled to report to the airport, or the time of actual report, whichever is later.

If the Reserve is required to remain at the airport for a later assignment, they will be covered by Section 8.N. of the Contract (Standby Reserve).

If the Reserve is not reassigned and is subsequently released, they will receive 2 hours of Call-Out/ Show-No-Go Pay and flight time credit.

For more details on Reserve telephone availability responsibilities, please see our recent article on Transitioning to Reserve status, as well as the Reserve Survival Guide.

If you have additional questions, please contact your Local Council Reserve Committee.

 Multi-segment Deadhead versus Double Deadhead

Recent discussions between Flight Attendants and representatives from some of our Local Councils suggest there is some confusion in the meaning of the term “double deadhead.” 

In an effort to clean up any misunderstanding we want to provide some historical context on the meaning of this term in order to avoid any confusion. 

Double deadheading is a contractual term that appears in our Contract in Section 7.S.2.a.  This language has its origin in the pmUA Contract and was defined in August of 1975.  Yes, 1975.

A double deadhead is defined as a “situation in which two trips containing a combination of flying and deadheading could have been scheduled legally as one trip in such a way as to avoid the need for deadheading.  (Deadheading in each of the two trips would have to be in opposite directions.)

On the other hand, and often misunderstood is multi-segment deadheading.  This is a situation in which a Flight Attendant is transported for the purpose of covering or returning from a flight assignment where more than one segment or flight is required to position the Flight Attendant to or from a flight assignment.  

A typical example of a multi-segment deadhead would include the recent positioning of Flight Attendants to cover flights departing from Hawaii.  For example, deadheading ORD – DEN – HNL on both segments, provided the sequence is scheduled within the duty time maximums of Section 6.S., is a legal way to schedule a Flight Attendant to deadhead to cover a non-stop flight from HNL – ORD.  Provided the multi-segment deadhead is scheduled legally, this is a legitimate flight assignment. 

Additionally, it should be pointed out, Section 3.G.11. provides that Flight Attendants may consume alcoholic beverages while deadheading subject to the following:

a. Flight Attendant may not be in uniform.

b. If a Lineholder, may not have a scheduled flight departing within twelve (12) hours after scheduled arrival at a domicile or co-terminal point; or at a non-domicile layover point will not be legal to be reassigned or drafted to work any flight for at least twelve (12) hours after scheduled arrival.

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

d. If the conditions above are met, the Flight Attendant may drink after takeoff, and in the event of a multi-segment deadhead, drink on the final deadhead segment. 

If you have additional questions, please contact your Local Council office.

 December Schedule Month Special COLAs Cancelled only at EWR

Management has announced, due to higher than anticipated demand, Special COLAs will be awarded only in GUM and LHR for the December schedule month. Further, only at EWR, the company will cancel all awarded Special COLAs for the month of December consistent with the provisions of Section 16.C.3. and 16.B.7 of our Contract.

 Under our Contract, the company may cancel Special COLAs by base and must provide Flight Attendants with a reasonable amount of time for return to work and, as a consequence of the cancellation, the company shall not cancel another COLA in EWR for two (2) years following the month in which the COLA was cancelled.

We want to ensure we avoid any confusion.  All other Special COLAs awarded at any of the other bases & satellites remain in effect. This cancellation affects the 118 Flight Attendants at EWR who were awarded a December Special COLA as part of the three-month Special COLA award from October.

 No Activity Line (NAL) Schedule Bidding Available for December

Because the company will not be offering Special COLAs at other than GUM and LHR, Flight Attendants at all bases and satellites where there are IVFMP participants at the base may elect to bid a No Activity Line (NAL) schedule. As a reminder, NAL schedules are empty lines with no assigned flying. Flight Attendants awarded NAL schedules may elect to not fly for the month, or may elect to pick up pairings through advertisements, up to 35 hours for the month. The 35-hour restriction limits the amount of time you are able to pick up from advertisements and is not a pay limitation.  If you have vacation during the month, those vacation hours are paid in addition to the 35 hours picked up from advertisements and do not limit your ability to pick up from ADs.

Those in the IVFMP, as a default, may fly a regular schedule if all the NAL are awarded to more senior Flight Attendants. If there is not a sufficient number of more senior Flight Attendants who elect to fly one of the NAL schedules assigned at the base, NAL schedules will be assigned in inverse order of seniority to those participating in the IVFMP. If you are an IVFMP participant and wish to be assigned an NAL schedule, you should bid for an NAL schedule. Keep in mind, however, you may be assigned to a regular schedule if more senior Flight Attendants bid for the NAL schedules.

To bid for a NAL schedule, in CCS under the bidding tab, select No Activity Line (NAL) Bid no later than 12:00 Noon CT on Friday, November 13, 2020.

 Impact of Bidding into NAL Schedules on Benefit Premiums

Anticipating questions some of us may have regarding how premiums for benefits will be handled for those who are bidding into NAL schedules, we are addressing the issue in advance. 

Those Flight Attendants who will bid into NAL schedules (which are to be distinguished from those in the IVFMP who may be assigned NAL schedules) should be aware that premiums for benefits will be payroll deducted from any earnings you may have while in the NAL.  In the event you elect not to work during the month, benefit premiums will be gathered into an arrears balance that will be deducted from your next pay check. As with all Flight Attendants who elect to reduce their flying schedule and pay guarantee by trading trips or through discretionary time off options, once you build an arrears balance of $500 you will be direct billed for these premiums by the UABC.  If you have questions about your benefits, contact the UABC at 800 651 1007.


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