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Airline Schedule Reductions Impact Crew Scheduling and Crew Pay

Date: March 21, 2020

As we’ve said repeatedly the last several days, these are extraordinary times. The impact of the COVID-19 crisis is being felt across the company not only by Flight Attendants and pilots, but also by the various departments across the company and the people who support Flight Attendants.  

The recent revision to the airline schedule is resulting in the cancellation of many of our trip pairings later in the month. Crew Scheduling must take action on these cancelled pairings before the pay protection shows up in our Pay Registers.   As a result of the enormous volume, it’s taking longer to process the reassignments.  Because of this, we aren’t seeing the pay protection in our Pay Registers and, as we do, Flight Attendants are calling Crew Pay looking for the missing pay register entries. At the same time, we are wondering when Crew Scheduling will be calling to either reassign or release us.

Please keep in mind it is the completion of the reassignment process that drives the updating to the Crew Pay Register to include the Pay Protection for pairings that have been cancelled. As we reported earlier this week, several company offices in various cities around the world, are closed as a result of the COVID-19 virus. In particular, offices in both Houston and Manila where many of the company representatives responsible for Crew Pay work, have been closed.  It is taking longer to answer the telephones because there are fewer people available to do this specialized work.

AFA has been in touch with the representatives in these departments to discuss ways to expedite call processing. Using Help Hub is one such way we can help. Crew Pay is working diligently to update our Pay Registers as quickly as possible. Payroll for the month of March closes as of April 6, 2020 so there is still plenty of time to complete these transactions to ensure that all of the pay to which we are entitled is included in our March Pay Register. By working with management to expedite the processing and advisement of reassignments, we are confident the update to Pay Registers will follow more quickly.  

In addition, as was communicated tonight in a Priority CCS Scheduling Message, temporary procedures intended to reduce call wait times with Crew Scheduling have been implemented consistent with the communication from United management to Flight Attendants:

Over the next several days and weeks, we will be thinning out the schedule which will cause disruption to your scheduled trip pairings. Under normal operating conditions, the expectation is that Crew Scheduling would contact you to advise of the cancellation and potential assignment under Section 7-Q-3 of the JCBA. However, given the volume of cancelled flights and trips that require repair, Crew Scheduling is diligently working around the clock to make the necessary adjustments to thousands of Flight Attendant schedules. 

Working with our AFA partners, we have decided to implement temporary measures for cancellation notifications during these very unique and challenging times:

  • As the cancellations begin to appear in your schedules, please DO NOT call Crew Scheduling unless the trip affected begins on the current day.
  • Crew Scheduling will work through the cancellations in chronological order and will make reassignments as needed.
  • If you are reassigned to replacement flying, Crew Scheduling WILL reach out to advise you of the reassignment.
  • If you are NOT reassigned, you will NOT be placed on RX days.  Under the provisions of Section 7-Q-3, you will be relieved of your responsibility for reassignment.
  • Should you be relieved of your responsibility to be reassigned, there will be no reassignment visible and RLSE and PROT will appear on your line for the affected trip.
  • Crew Scheduling will NOT contact you if RLSE and PROT appear on your line for the affected trip; you are released with full pay protection.

Over the course of this evening, following implementation of this procedure, we’ve become aware that some Flight Attendants have in their schedules for tomorrow, RX days/PROT and were not given an assignment. We have brought these examples to the attention to management with the understanding that these individuals should have been Released (RLSE).  We will be addressing this with management in the morning seeking a definitive clarification on how these circumstances are to be addressed.

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