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

Date: March 24, 2020

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. 


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