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Multi-segment Deadhead versus Double Deadhead

Date: November 6, 2020

Recent discussions between Flight Attendants and representatives from some of our Local Councilssuggest 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.

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