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E-Lines: March 24, 2020

Date: March 24, 2020

April Schedule Bids Now Open 

April Bid Packets are available in CCS and Primary bidding is now open. The following information reflects the company and AFA understanding of the schedule by which the April Bidding Timeline will be completed.

Bidding & Awards



Primary Bid Opened

March 23 @1700 CT

Primary Bid Closes / Award Begins

March 26 @1700 CT

Primary Award Line Numbers Visible

March 27 @ 1700 Local Time

Finalized Primary Award Loaded

March 27 @ 2000 CT

Trading Process
The trading process has been modified and compressed and all trading activities will occur based on the following schedule.  



Mutual Trading Begins

March 27 @ 1700 Local Time

EOM Conflict Drops

March 28 @ 1000 CT

EOM Mutual Trades Suspended

March 28 @ 1000 CT

EOM Mutual Trades Suspended

March 28 @ 1000 CT

Self- adjustments Begin

March 28 @ 1600 CT

Self-adjustments End

March 30 @ 1200 Local Time

Real-time Trading Opens for all Bases

March 30 @ 1200 Local Time

Understanding the Interaction between Guarantee and Minimum with Vacation

Given the unique circumstances this month where the company and AFA were jointly committed to keeping as many Flight Attendants working as possible, we reached an understanding that provided the company with a contractual accommodation that permitted management with the ability to complete the line construction process with lines having an average below the 69 hour requirement set forth in Section 7.A.3. of our Contract while, at the same time, ensuring that Flight Attendants awarded lines with value of less than 71 hours are paid 71 hours based on the requirements of Section 4.C. of the Contract..

As a result of this accommodation and the resulting lower line averages, there are a number of questions arising about how vacation interacts with Guarantee and the 71-hour. minimum pay protection. We have developed a number of scenarios that are intended to increase understanding of the various interactions. Review the Guarantee and Minimum Interaction document.

Vacation Relief Line (VRL) Process

The VRL process will be compressed, and the typical 36-hour bidding window is not possible to include in the abbreviated bid timeline for April schedules. Immediately following the building of VRLs, the award process will begin. For this reason, Flight Attendants awarded a VRL in the primary bid will be awarded VRLs in the secondary/VRL award using bids submitted from their Relief PERMABID. 

Access the PERMABID Guide

Vacation Relief Line (VRL) Process


Submit your Relief PERMABID if awarded VRL in primary bid before:

March 28 @ 0800 Local

VRL awards will be posted by:

March 29 @ 1200 CT

The April schedule month and Reserve move-up window remains unchanged. 



April Schedule Month Begins

March 31 @ 0001

Move-up Line Building Window Starts

March 31 @ 0001

Move-up Line Building Window Ends

April 4 @ 2359 Local Time


Restoring Reserve Days of Availability to Reserve Lines with 16 Days Off for April

Systemwide, the company’s Reserve parameters for April established that all Reserve schedules would be built with more than the Contractual 12 days off.  For April, all Reserve schedules have 16 days off with a commensurate reduction in Reserve Guarantee to 61:32. 

Our Contract provides Flight Attendants with the contractual right to request restoration of some or all the days off above 12. In the bid packet, the lines indicate the days to be restored with a “+”.  When restored, there is a corresponding increase to the Reserve minimum guarantee. 

For the month of April, the Company and AFA have implemented a process intended to reduce the frustration of having to call Crew Planning to restore your days off. The process is outlined in the bid package cover letter and will be accomplished by e-mail.

Send an e-mail no later than March 30th at 0800 HDT with the following information in the subject line:




E-mailcrwschedplan@united.comprior to March 30 at 0800 HDT.

Review the FAQ on this subject or contact your Local Council Reserve Committee.

Interaction of Guarantee and 71-Hour Minimum (Section 4.C.)

Now that the April lines have been published for us to see, there are numerous questions about pay and how the pay protections of Section 4.C. interact with guarantee and how trip trading activities will impact both.   

Section 4.C. (Compensation) requires a Flight Attendant awarded any line having less than seventy-one hours (71:00) original flight time line projection will be pay protected up to seventy-one hours (71:00). The 71 hours establishes the ‘minimum’ pay to which a Flight Attendant is entitled for any schedule with a value below 71 hours. This provision of our Contract ensures a minimum level of pay protection and for the month of April, regardless of where you are based, we will all benefit from this provision of our Contract.

We’ve received a number of questions about the interaction between guarantee and minimum pay protection and how one affects the value of the other. To begin, it is important to understand that a Flight Attendant will always be paid the greaterof her/his guarantee (the sum total of the value of pairings and other assignments) or the 71-hour (or adjusted) minimum.

Picking up Trips – Impact on Guarantee and Minimum

For example, in a situation where the guarantee of your bid line is 30:00 and your minimum is 71:00, you are paid the greater of the two values. In this case, 71 hours. Now, let’s assume you pick up a turn having a value of five (5) hours. The impact of picking up the 5 hours will be an increase in your guarantee to 35:00 whereas your 71-hour minimum value, will never increase.  In such as instance, you will be paid based on the greater of your guarantee or your minimum which is 71 hours.

Trading Trips – Impact on Guarantee and Minimum

Using the same bid line with a value of 30:00 having a minimum of 71:00, if you trade (down) a 10-hour turn for a 5-hour turn, (Trading into a trip of lesser value), both your guarantee and minimum will be reduced by the value of difference between the two pairings. In this case, the guarantee and minimum values will be reduced by 5 hours (10-5 = 5) to 25:00 and 66 hours, respectively.

If you were to trade the 10-hour trip (up) for a 12- hour trip, your guarantee will increase by 2 hours and your minimum will remain unchanged at 71 hours.

Advertising Trips to Give Away 

Using the same bid line with a guarantee of 30:00 hours and a minimum of 71:00, if you advertise a 10:00 hour pairing and give it away, the impact of that action is a reduction to both your guarantee and your minimum to 20:00 and 61:00 hours, respectively. In the same way, if you were to trade away all of your original 30 hours, your guarantee will be reduced to zero and your minimum to 41:00.

So, you may ask, what does this all mean to me for the month of April?  Because our pay protection this month comes largely from our 71-hour minimum pay protection, it is important to recognize once you have taken an action on your schedule that reduces your minimum, there is no action you can take that will ever increase your minimum. On the other hand, the value of your guaranteeadjusts up and down based on trips picked up or traded into.

Here’s the general rule to follow this month because of the scarcity of flying – If you are going to adjust your schedule, trade equal or trade up in value. Make every effort to avoid giving pairings in your schedule away because not trading down or giving pairings away protects the 71-hour minimum value of your schedule. This is particularly important because there is not much of a guarantee that there will be significant open time available with which to rebuild your schedule.

Flight Attendants are encouraged to contact their Local Council with any questions or concerns they may have regarding their April Schedules. 


Temporary Measures for Trip Cancellation Notifications 


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. In Fridays edition of E-lines, we communicated the following 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.
  • No reassignments will be made after 2200 the night prior to the first day of the original cancelled pairing.


Additionally, payroll for the month of March closes as of April 6, 2020 so there is still plenty of time to complete transactions to ensure that all of the pay to which we are entitled is included in our March Pay Register. 

Flight Attendants are encouraged to review last week’s E-Lines article, Airline Schedule Reductions Impact Crew Scheduling and Crew Pay for detailed information.

Flight Attendants: Essential Workers

MEC Safety, Health & Security Committee 

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation rapidly changes, some state and local governments are taking the necessary steps to reduce person to person contact through actions such as “sheltering-in-place” and “mandatory curfews”. Flight Attendants should be aware that they are considered essential workers and are therefore exempt from these requirements. 

If you reside in an area that is has a “shelter-in-place” order in effect, print or download the exempt worker certification form verifying you are a United Airlines employee, and exempt from the shelter-in-place order and should be readily available to present to authorities if you are challenged.  

In addition, we are strongly recommending that Flight Attendants who commute do so in Uniform. While there are exemptions for crew in place, being in uniform will likely reduce your risk of being challenged by authorities especially in those locations where shelter in place orders have been put into place.

Crew Actions Following COVID-19 Exposure 
AFA-CWA International 

If you learn that you have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, call your physician and follow their instructions. Do not go to a doctor's office unless advised to do so. 

Report to AFA - Exposure to COVID-19 

The CDC guidance to passengers who have come in contact with a confirmed COVID- 19 case on their flight, is to self-quarantine, contact health authorities, and monitor health for 14 days. The guidelines provide an exemption for crew. While AFA does not agree with this guidance, we recommend Flight Attendants in these situations follow the same CDC guidance given to passengers and that you advise the company that you do not feel safe to fly. Self- quarantine for 14 days, contact your local health authorities, and monitor for symptoms. AFA is advocating that through our contact with the FAA, CDC, and lawmakers that airlines update their guidance to match that of the CDC for passengers. 

State and Local Health Department Contact Numbers 

If in Guam, call 671-735-7143; after hours and weekends, 888-WARN (9276). 

Interim Health Guidance from FAA and CDC (COVID-19) 

Questions and concerns can be directed to your AFA Local Safety Committee Representatives. 

NEW COVID-19 News & Resources Page on www.unitedafa.org

We have created a COVID-19 News & Resources page on our UnitedAFA website dedicated to providing a one-stop resource for United AFA Flight Attendants as we are navigating this world crisis together.

In addition to numerous useful resources, such as Health Resources, and current COVID-19 updates, the page offers the latest industry news and a dedicated Q&A section that will be updated regularly. 

The COVID-19 page can be found by clicking the COVID-19 banner or icon located on the front page of unitedafa.org.

CQ Training Suspended Through the End of April at All Training Locations

Last week United announced temporary suspension of CQ Training, through the end of April, at all Inflight training locations.

Inflight Training successfully obtained an exemption for any Flight Attendant with a February, March or April due month. For example, a Flight Attendant with a February CQ due month will retain her/his qualification until May 31, 2020 whereas a Flight Attendant with a March CQ due month will retain her/his qualification until June 30, 2020. This extension does not alter the Flight Attendants due month. 

While this is a temporary exemption, the requirement to complete the regulatory CBT Trimester 2 course by April 29, 2020 remains unchanged.

For additional information, please review the March 20, 2020, E-Lines publication, CQ Training Suspended Through the End of April at All Training Locations, available on our website, Unitedafa.org. 

Unemployment Claims while on Special COLA – Contact the Department of Labor

As a result of the reduction of flying due to the COVID-19 virus the company has awarded 7,119 special COLA’s. Flight Attendants interested in applying for unemployment benefits are encouraged to visit the official Department of Labor (DOL) website for process information. 

NOTE: For COLAs awarded during the COVID-19, United will not contest your claim for unemployment. In addition, United will provide any available helpful information to the state for purposes of your eligibility for unemployment, however, the ultimate decision rests with each state.”

Out of an abundance of caution, your AFA leadership must make it clear that the Union has no jurisdiction over unemployment claims and by sharing this company message with you, we are making no representation or providing any guarantee of your eligibility for unemployment. 

Submitting Requests for COLAs with April Start Dates

In the event you missed the original bid window for the April COLA offerings, be aware that Flight Attendants may continue to submit requests for one-, two- and six-month COLAs with April start dates and will be added to the waitlist.  To date, 7119 Special COLAs have been awarded for the April schedule month. 


Management will continue to review staffing needs and, when possible, will award additional COLAs. Those requests awarded from the waitlist are done on a first-come, first-awarded basis as detailed in Section 15.B.2 of our Contract.  

April 2020 - One Month Special COLA

April 2020 – Two Month Special COLA

April 2020 – Six Month Special COLA (April – September 2020)

Protecting Probationary Flight Attendants – Recall in Lieu of Separation

While we are working hard to protect all Members, we have reached agreement for protections and benefits that exceed our Contract to protect those Flight Attendants who are currently on probation in the event the company determines it is necessary to reduce personnel beyond those levels reached through the Special COLAs.

While the Company has not released any probationary Flight Attendants, in the event management seeks to reduce headcount by releasing the probationary Flight Attendants they have protections as a result of this Letter of Agreement.

This agreement will provide recall rights to probationary Flight Attendants who are placed on ‘involuntary furlough in lieu of termination’ status. In absence of the agreement, the company was able to simply release probationary Flight Attendants from employment with no recall rights or benefits at all.

This Letter of Agreement also provides for:

  • 90 days of online pass travel benefits for any probationary Flight Attendant placed on this status
  • The Company will not contest unemployment benefits
  • All accrued seniority will be protected. However, you will not continue to accrue seniority.

For complete details please refer to the Letter of Agreement.

United Payroll Communication Encourages Sign-up for Direct Deposit

For those of us who have elected to continue to receive our Pay via a physical check, United Payroll has a message for us. While still printing these checks, there is growing concern that should quarantine situations change, there could be a delay in the delivery of the check to you.

For this reason, Payroll is urging all employees to consider switching to direct deposit for their payroll checks for the following reasons, 

  • Faster: direct deposit is in your account on the check date rather than having to pick up in person or wait for mail and then getting it to your bank
  • Safer: less people touching the checks during the delivery process
  • A Quick Reference Guide which provides step-by-step instructions to enroll in Direct Deposit is available on the company’s website.

Please submit a Direct Deposit Inquiry via Help Hub, or call the Payroll Care Center (weekdays from 8 a.m. CDT to 4:30 p.m. CDT) at 1-877-825-3729 and follow the prompts for “pay questions” then “more options” then “other.”

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