Home > News > E-Lines: February 23, 2020

E-Lines: February 23, 2020

Date: February 23, 2020

737 MAX Return to Service Set for September 4, 2020

United has announced that the 737 MAX will return to service on September 4, 2020.

The MAX has been out of service since March 2019 following the grounding of the aircraft by the FAA. While the MAX is out of schedule, United will continue to automatically book affected customers on alternate flights, or proactively reach out to them and offer other options.

As our highest corporate value is the safety of customers and employees.  United has cooperated fully with the FAA’s independent review of the MAX aircraft and United has consistently made the commitment that neither passengers or employees will be placed on the aircraft unless the corporation is completely satisfied that it is safe to do so.   We look forward to the aircraft’s return to service.

 April Special COLAs Available

Inflight Scheduling has determined that there will be an opportunity to award one- and two-month Special COLAs (Company Offered Leave of Absence) effective for the April 2020 bid month. The number of Special COLAs that will be awarded has not yet been determined. Bids must be submitted in CCS no later than 08:00 a.m. Central Time on Friday, March 6, 2020. If you are interested in both the one- and two-month Special COLA, please bid for the durations in your order of preference as both Special COLAs will be awarded at the same time. 

Flight attendants awarded the April One- an Two-month Special COLAs will be required to complete any overlapping assignments into the April bid month. Please refer to 15.C.2 (paragraph 15.B.5) of the JCBA. If you do not wish to fly an overlapping trip you may adjust your schedule using any of our negotiated schedule flexibility options. 

If you have a special COLA request on file it will be considered for an award at any time before the April bid month starts if slots are still available. Once the special COLA is awarded it cannot be rescinded. 

 Voluntary Supplemental Benefits Open Enrollment

As we know, Open Enrollment for AFA Voluntary Supplemental Benefits is in full swing having opened this past week on Monday, February 17, 2020 and will continue through March 14, 2020.   AFA has selected two brokers, Design Benefitsand National Group Protection (NGP),to offer voluntary supplemental insurance benefits to our Members.  Both companies have been endorsed by AFA during the defined Open Enrollment period and are equally authorized to solicit our Members and offer these benefits.  To that end and in order to ensure both are aware of who are Members are, AFA provided both of the brokers with Membership information.

During this first week of open enrollment, we have become aware that communications by U.S. mail, e-mail and telephone have been used to heighten awareness of the open enrollment period.  New to us this year was the use of text messaging to increase awareness.  While some of our Members have appreciated the electronic reminder by text, others were caught off guard and would prefer not to receive these messages by text. When AFA was made aware of this, we discussed this practice with our brokers. During those discussions, we came to realize that we had not provided guidelines to either of our brokers restricting the use of text messaging because we had not obtained permission from our Membership to do so.  When we became aware of this, we reviewed our guidelines with both brokers and have requested this method of communication not be used.  For those who would have preferred not to receive these messages, we apologize and regret the inconvenience.

Both of our brokers offer a wide range of products and services which are intended to improve the financial well-being of our Members and include short term disability, group voluntary accident, group critical illness, and group whole life insurance.  To contact our brokers using our dedicated contact resources:


Design Benefits

National Group Protection





877 706 9110

800 344 9016





Allstate Products

CAIC Products


More information about the products offered by each of our brokers can be found on our website at the following link:https://unitedafa.org/benefits/insurance/voluntary/

 Operational Fly Through System Defect Now Fixed

Lineholder Flight Attendants were previously required to call Crew Scheduling in the event they elected to pick up a pairing from another Flight Attendant during a scheduled vacation period using an operational vacation fly through. Before being able to accomplish the pick-up, it was necessary for the scheduler to remove the vacation period from the line of flying and add the value of the vacation to add pay.

Effective immediately, this process is no longer required.  The system has been update to automatically drop the vacation days an to programmatically add the value of the vacation to add pay.  

It should be noted that this new process applies only to Lineholders.  Flight Attendants on Reserve status are required to call Crew Scheduling to request an operational vacation fly through.

Automatic Calculation of RIG Defect Identified – Action Required

An issue has been identified where, in certain operational circumstances, the RIG is not automatically recalculating.  All cases result from an irregularity that results in the extension of the pairing into an additional duty period.  This issue involves partial pairings and examples are provided in the One United Update of February 20, 2020.

 Understanding Your Pay

Flight Attendants have the opportunity to review their pay using the displays available via CCS.  Flight Attendants are encouraged to monitor their pay throughout the month and especially when changes to their original schedule occur through situations such as irregularities, drafting and reassignment. 

In the My Pay Register page located in CCS, you will see three (3) highlighted boxes: Minimum, Guarantee, and Credit. The different values, while perhaps confusing, change in response to activities that occur to your schedule. The chart below is intended to assist you in understanding the different values:







When Does the Value Change?







Line Holder = 71

Reserve = 78


Your minimum never increases but will decrease when dropping pairings or when trip trading for pairings with lower values.




Your minimum will be reduced when you drop or trade a trip from your line for a trip with a lower value. The value will NOT go up if you add a trip to your schedule or trade for a higher value trip.


Trips removed from your line due to

vacation may cause a reduction.







Provides pay protections for all pairings by guaranteeing the dollar value of hourly flight pay and hourly overrides



Guarantee will change when a Flight Attendant adds, trades or drops a trip from their schedule by the value of the trip.







Credit is the value of all pairings (except training pairings which appear on your master schedule, including greater of the scheduled or actual block time, Duty/ trip RIGs

and Deadhead. It does not include pay protections which are included in Guarantee.




Credit is the time Flight Attendants are actually flying. It does not include training pay or pay protections due to reassignment or drafting.


Lineholder Example: 

1.    A lineholder is awarded a line with a value of 80 hours and 75 hours of actual flight time. Minimum: 71 | Guarantee: 80 | Credit: 75

2.    The same lineholder picks up a pairing on days off with a value of 10 hours having 9 hours of actual flight time. Minimum:71 | Guarantee: 90 | Credit: 84

3.    Later in the month the Flight Attendant drops a three days trip with a value of 15 hours and 14:30 of actual flight time. Minimum: 56 | Guarantee: 75 | Credit: 69:30

For more information about understanding your pay in CCS Flight Attendants should contact their local council. 

 Flu Shots – It’s not too late.
MEC Safety, Health & Security

Cold and Flu season continues to affect us all and this year’s flu season has been particularly challenging for everyone. In our line of work, we come in contact with a wide range of people from all walks of life who live in different parts of the world.  

To help combat this potentially deadly illness we would like to remind everyone to get their flu shot. The flu season can last as late as May in the United States. The Center for Disease Control recommends that adults and children older than six (6) months should get a flu vaccine by the end of October. While it’s best to get immunized early in the flu season, if you have waited beyond October, it’s not too late to get the vaccine.   Free flu shots area available upon presentation of your health insurance card at CVS, Walgreens, etc. or at one of United’s health and wellness resources.

Take the steps to keep yourself healthy this season. Learn more at FlyingTogether. In every case, if you have questions as to whether a flu shot is right for you, we recommend you contact your personal physician.

If you do not have medical coverage, you can still receive a flu shot for a low cost at your local pharmacy

Vacation Relief Line Bidding: Clarifying the One United Publication
One United

February 11, 2020 a One United communication was distributed addressing details about the negotiated Flight Attendant Bidding System (FABS). To avoid confusion, it should be understood FABS is not planned for implementation until the last quarter of 2020. 

1)    FABS will only be used by Flight Attendants awarded a Vacation Relief Line and only during the second round of bidding.

2)    Educations materials are being developed to help Flight Attendants understand the new system well in advance of implementation. This will include a practice environment to provide Flight Attendants with hands on experience prior to any bidding window. 

3)    Flight Attendants holding a VRL for the month of March will be among the first to be surveyed on bidding preferences.  The plan is to send a specific message to VRL line holders who are in SFO and a generic message to all other bases. The feedback gathered from the surveys will be of importance in the further development of FABS and will be used in the preliminary testing this spring.  We encourage full participation.

 Rapid Re-Accrual of Sick Leave
JCBA 13.A.5

When faced with a serious illness, injury, or maternity absence where more than 255 hours of sick leave hours are used during a single occurrence, we have negotiated for the “rapid” rebuilding of our sick bank utilizing the provisions for rapid re-accrual.

To begin the process following an absence where more than 255 hours of sick leave have been used:

1)    Flight Attendant should contact her/his supervisor to request the set up of rapid re-accrual.

2)    Your supervisor will submit the request to Crew Pay for validation.

This should be set up in a timely manner following the Flight Attendant’s return to flight duty.

Review your sick and occupational bank hours in CCS under Pay > Pay Register. Select the Sick pay option. You will have two banks, one for sick hours remaining and one for occupations hours remaining. In the same section you will see Sick hours used and Occupations hours used. You must have used 255 hours or more to qualify for rapid re-accrual.


Flight Attendants meeting the criteria will accrue sick hours at the rate of seven (7) hours each month until they reach the same level of sick leave (balance) they had at the onset of the injury, illness or maternity absence provided the Flight Attendant satisfies the paid activity requirements in each quarter where she/he is eligible for rapid re-accrual.

 Contract 2021 Listening Tour
Negotiations Committee 

Five opportunities remain to attend the Contract 2021 Listening Tour. Having been on the road since January 20, 2020, our Negotiating Committee have heard from a number of us around the system. The information gathered in conjunction with the responses from the completed Negotiations Survey will identify our common goals and objectives in the development of a well-rounded early opener that represents the priorities of our diverse population. 

February 26  is the last international stop on the tour in Tokyo, Japan. If you are able, join our Negotiating Committee at the Hilton Narita Airport from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm and let them hear what priorities matter to you in our next contract.  The Tokyo AFA Negotiations Listening Touris schedule to take place at:


Hilton Narita Airport 

286-0127 Narita

456 Kosuge

Narita, Japan

IMPORTANT – Take the Negotiations Survey Today – Make it a Priority! 

The Contract 2021 Flight Attendant Negotiations Survey opened on January 20, 2020 and will close on March 6, 2020 at 1600 Central Time.Our Negotiating Committee is relying on your input to direct the course of our upcoming negotiations. Your direct feedback to our Negotiating Committee is the most important component of preparing for our upcoming negotiations. This surveyprovides all Members an equal opportunity to tell our Negotiating Committee about their aspirations and priorities for the upcoming negotiations.

If you did not receive your access code in the mail, please contact our Negotiations Survey Help Line Monday-Friday, 0900 - 1700 Central Time at: 1(800) 624-3907, ext.546.

Surveys will be accepted until the deadline - March 6, 2020 at 1600 Central Time. Next week, the University of New Hampshire Survey Center will send an email to Flight Attendants who have not submitted their survey. This email is being sent as a final reminder that participation is a vital component in the preparation of Contract 2021 Negotiations. 

Note:This email will be sent to Flight Attendants who have a valid email address on file with United AFA. Our negotiating priorities are determined by the Membership. Your Voice Matters. 

Survey responses must be entered online and can be accessed from our negotiations website: 
Take the Survey visit: contract2021.org

Contract 2021 Survey Tips:

·   The Negotiations Survey may be accessed from a desktop or laptop computer as well as a mobile device.

·   The survey, hosted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, uses different question types, skip logic, and a customized survey template.

·   Once in the survey, your answers will be saved every time you click “Next Page”. You may work on the survey for as long as you would like. If you need to leave the survey, and have not yet submitted it, you can return to it by entering your 6-character access code.

·   Submit your finished survey by clicking “Submit Survey” on the last page of the online survey.

·   Once the survey is complete, the information will be collected and the data from the survey will be used to formulate our opening proposals.

If you have technical issues or questions while taking the survey please contact Tracy Keirns, Assistant Director at the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.

 Travel Restrictions

The Coronavirus outbreak has caused many countries to enhance screening measures for passengers and crew pending entry into their country. In some situations, countries have imposed a number of restrictions that could lead to a refusal of entry into the country. 

February 18, 2020 United updated Flight Attendants on the most recent restrictions and how it would affect Flight Attendants who may have recently traveled to China for a pairing or on personal time. 

It is important to note that Flight Attendants are responsible for ensuring they are able to travel to any countries included in their pairing and that they meet the necessary requirements for entry. Flight Attendants who traveled to China are encouraged to review the list prior to flying a trip out of their home country. You should also review the most current version of the list prior to checking in for a pairing. 

Your Safety, Health & Security Committee continues to work closely with United and government agencies to monitor the situation for the benefit of our Members. If you have questions or concerns about recent China flying or restrictions on travel, contact your Local Safety, Health & Security Representative.  

Government Affairs Activist Training

On February 20-22, 2020, our United MEC Government Affairs Committee representatives joined Government Affairs activists from all AFA Carriers in Chicago for the 2020 Political Activist Training. The training focused primarily on membership organizing and fundamentals to provide tools and effectively conduct GOTV and Voter Registration Drives.  FlightPAC was discussed in detail as well as AFA—CWA’s 2020 Legislative priorities.

Guest speaker at the training was Mr. Don Villar, Secretary/Treasurer of the Chicago Federation of Labor. Activists were also able to volunteer to visit Congressman Dan Lipinski’s [IL03] office and participate in phone banking in support of the Congressman’s upcoming election.

Your Government Affairs Committee is excited and eager to apply what was learned and conduct successful member-to-member conversations regarding the extremely important 2020 elections.

We extend our appreciation to all the Government Affairs activists for their time and commitment in supporting our collective efforts by attending this training event.

Reminders & Quick Links

January 20-March 6            Listening Tour
February 17-March 15         
Voluntary Supplemental Insurance Benefits Open Enrollment
January - June                     
CAUSE Foundation Trip Drop Contest
March 6                                
Flight Attendant Negotiations Survey Closes 1600 CT 
March 6                                April Special COLAs Closes 0800 CT
March 12                              Special COLAs Awarded




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