Aircraft Equipment Substitution/Changes- “What position do I work?”
March 4, 2020
Recent events resulting in the reduction/suspension of service to/from cities in Asia has resulted in the availability of a number of widebody aircraft not assigned to specific missions. As a result, some of these aircraft are being used to fly certain high demand domestic routes with the benefits being the creation of additional Flight Attendant work (pairings) and an upgraded experience for customers flying these domestic flights.
These aircraft up gauges, however, also present questions as to how Flight Attendants added to these crew lists for FAA minimum and ESG staffing are to determine their proper work positions. Section 7.Q.7. of our CBA provides guidance in these instances:
Aircraft Up Gauge:
Additionally, unassigned positions are identified as 8000-9999 pairing numbers and filed at the beginning of the flight, after Flight Attendant boarding time and before pre-flight duties begin. This will primarily occur during briefing with any unassigned positions filled in seniority order among the Members of the working crew.
If there are multiple base pairings assigned to a flight, the base pairing that was originally assigned to the flight will work their positions and the remaining positions are filled by seniority.
Please review this previous article that contains several references pertaining to determining our work positions.
In the event of an equipment change where the new equipment does not require the original number of Flight Attendants scheduled, scheduling will first reassign Reserves, if any. If the trip still does not require the remaining number of Flight Attendants, the senior bid Lineholder(s) may fly or opt off the pairing.
However, Language Qualified (LQ) Flight Attendants and the International Purser, Flight Attendants with special qualifications, may be required to take and/or complete the pairing where their special qualification(s) are still required. If the pairing does not require the original number of LQ Flight Attendants, the senior LQ Flight Attendant may opt off the trip.
If the Reserve is not reassigned and travels on the same flight, she/he will be included in the senior option as provided in Section 7.O. of our CBA.
The surplus Flight Attendant(s), who have either been removed or who opt off the pairing shall, at her/his option, be pay protected in accordance with the provisions of Section 7.Q.7. of our CBA.