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Special COLAs and Vacation Accrual

Date: April 10, 2020

There has been some contradictions in company Special COLA communications regarding Special COLAs. In an effort to eliminate any confusion, we off the following information:

Special COLAs, in and of themselves,do not reducevacation accrual in the same way that other Leaves of Absence reduce vacation accrual. Generally, a Flight Attendant on a Special COLA will end up experiencing a lack of accrual in vacation as a result of not making the 120 hour paid activity metric required for full accrual.

In the example below, even though the Flight Attendant has taken seven (7) months of Special COLAs, there is no reduction to the annual vacation accrual the same way there would be for a Medical Leave or a regular COLA.

However, if she/he does not meet the 60-/120-hour metric during each quarter, she/he will not accrue full vacation.  In the example below:

Quarter 1: Full accrual (meets 120-hour paid activity metric during the quarter)

Quarter 2: Full accrual (meets 120-hour paid activity metric during the quarter)

Quarter 3: ½ accrual (meets 60-hour paid activity metric during quarter)

Quarter 4:  No accrual (meets neither the 60- or 120-hour paid activity metric during quarter)



It is important to clarify information from this past week’s Special E-lines that hours paid as a part of your 71-hour minimum do count toward the paid activity metric. However, when you are paid by your minimum, if you have traded trips away, even if you pick up trips, if your minimum exceeds your guarantee, your minimum will establish your paid activity level. In an environment where we are paid by our minimum, trading down has the potential to adversely impact your paid activity and ultimately the accrual of your sick leave, vacation and family medical leave eligibility.  We shared this information to create an awareness of the need to monitor this, especially at the end of a quarter (as is May) because once the quarter passes, there is no ability to make up hours for a prior quarter and your accrual will be permanently reduced.

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