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AFA Debrief: October 12, 2021

Date: October 12, 2021

United Award Bonus

Today Scott Kirby announced that every active employee as of November 10, 2021, as well as those who return to United Airlines, will receive a $1,000 award in recognition of our dedication and for all the hard work we’ve all done during the pandemic.

First and foremost, a sincere “thank you to Scott,” for the recognition.  The decision today to acknowledge that the foundation of United Airlines is all of its workers and, in particular the Flight Attendants; who spend more time, make a bigger impression and directly care for more people than any other work group.  No amount of marketing will stand alone without the support of the amazing work we do as Flight Attendants.

We look at this $1,000 award as a down payment towards the industry leading Contract negotiations on which we have embarked just this past week.  It’s a significant and meaningful first step forward in a positive direction.  Locking in long-term protections and pay for Flight Attendants is an essential element to our collective success.

Scott has been recognized throughout the industry and in the media for his solid business decisions, that have been crucial in guiding United to be the most successful airline to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.  Scott is known as a “numbers guy,” as we’ve said many times.  While it’s important to keep in mind that the decision to meaningfully recognize all active United employees is significant, within this context it must also be understood, one way or another, there is a financial benefit to United Airlines for doing so. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it’s something we must always keep in mind.

We are truly appreciative of this action and this statement is not intended to “to kick water on a sandcastle.”  It is, however, intended to recognize that Scott and his management team make decisions based on promoting the health and success of our airline.  The intuitive timing of this announcement today again puts United Airlines in a more favorable position than many of our competitors and, for this, we are collectively grateful. 

Thank you, Scott. We appreciate your recognition of our hard work and dedication and thank you for putting our airline first.

Delays happen.  Protect your duty time maximum!

Delays happen. Throughout the course of our duty day some of these delays are anticipated and become known while others occur more as a result of changing circumstances that cause “creeping delays”. As aviation’s first responders the amount of time we spend on duty plays a crucial role in our ability to quickly identify and respond to emergency situations. In knowing these delays in advance, this knowledge provides Flight Attendants with the opportunity to take advantage of every opportunity for rest and to better adjust and plan for the extended duty day.

This is partially the reason we negotiated Section 7.X. of our Contract which provides that if a delay or cancellation is known two (2) hours before scheduled departure time, Flight Attendants are to be notified of the delay as soon as possible, provided the delay is estimated to be more than thirty (30) minutes.

If you are not notified according to the outlined parameters and you ultimately check in at your regular scheduled time, contact Crew Scheduling to ensure that your duty time is updated to reflect your actual check-in time. In such an instance, the start of your duty day may be different from others working the same flight especially if the other members of your crew were notified of the delay. You should not hesitate to contact the Crew Desk to update your duty period whether at home or at the layover point. Doing so at the start of your duty day provides the company with accurate information about the legalities of each member of the crew assigned to a specific flight and will avoid any issues in the event further delays create legality issues in the duty period. The length of our duty day is Contractual and out time is valuable.

As a reminder when delays occur and you have not been advised of a delay (received positive notification or contacted Crew Scheduling to adjust your check in time) you are expected to be in position for the operation in accordance with your original check in time. Failure to be in position at your original check in may result in a missed trip as a result of being unavailable for the operation where you might otherwise have been subject to drafting or reassignment.

Please contact your Local Council office with further questions.

Known Crewmember (KCM) & TSA Regulations

Known Crew Member (KCM) is a program allowing for expedited security screening and clearance to sterile areas for Crew Members. The structure of KCM enables TSA security officers to positively verify the identity and employment status of authorized crewmembers. It is a privilege we have all come to value. Attempted use of the program outside the established parameters puts all of us at risk of losing the privilege.

Ensuring our continued participation in the Known Crew Member program requires each of us to know and abide by the rules. Failure to follow the established system-wide TSA policy could result in serious personal consequences including but not limited to revocation of your badge(s) and fines for the company and the individual responsible for the violation. 

When utilizing our KCM privileges as working Crew or when traveling in our leisure time there are a few important rules that need to be followed.

·       If you have been inactive, that is, on a Special COLA or another “Leave of Absence” or in instances where you may have been temporarily removed from service, you will find your access via KCM has been restricted. Upon return to active service there will be a delay in updating your status to “active” which may result in your inability to use KCM access. In most instances, you will need to fly your first trip to trigger the return of your status to active which will restore your KCM eligibility.

  • KCM may be used for all travel as Working Crew
  • KCM may be used from personal Domestic Travel.
  • While you need not be in uniform to access KCM, when out of uniform you will be required to present an additional form of identification which can be a passport, FAA Airmen’s Certification, or driver’s license along with your company issued badge.  (Temporary government ID credentials are not accepted.)
  • Any personal International Travel requires use of normal TSA screening checkpoints.  KCM may not be used for this travel.

When selected for additional screening as working Crew or when traveling on our leisure time there are a few important rules that need to be followed.

  • If you are traveling out of Uniform, you may not change into uniform to avoid liquid restrictions
  • You are always subject to any necessary additional screenings
  • If after entering the sterile area a non-working crew member does not remain within the confines of sterile area (i.e., concourse), secure area (i.e., domicile), SIDA, or security restricted areas of the airport (i.e., non-public) prior to boarding the aircraft, she/he must be rescreened using the above procedures.
  • You may not carry the personal articles of others through the KCM check point.

Any request made by a TSA officer at the KCM checkpoint is to be complied with whether you believe the request to be in error or not.  If they request something you believe to be inaccurate (i.e. needing a ticket when utilizing your badge to clear to a sterile area for a meeting or asking for additional forms of identification) you are expected to comply with the request. If, however, you believe you are being asked or directed to do something which you know to be incorrect, please, professionally, request to speak to a TSA supervisor for clarification.

Once you’ve cleared the checkpoint, file a Local Council Report so the issue can be addressed and corrected moving forward. All of these requests are being made in the interest of safety and security and we all have a vested interest at ensuring we meet all requirements.

Holiday Bidding Reminder: November

Our Contract stipulates that in addition to all other compensation, Flight Attendants receive additional pay for assignments touching the Flight Attendant’s birthday and designated holidays as outlined in Sections 2.Q. and 4.I.

For the November bid month, Contractual holidays are as follows:





November 25, 2021

Guam & All U.S. Bases

Holiday Pay is calculated using a formula that accounts for the number of credited hours flown during the holiday pairing and how much time away from home the pairing has. Premium pay is not used when computing holiday pay. A Flight Attendant’s hours away from home begins at the pairing report time and ends at the conclusion of the scheduled debriefing time upon the return to the home domicile.

Please refer to the following previous articles and resources for more details regarding Holiday Pay:

·       Understanding Holiday Pay

·       Understanding Holiday Pay (Section 4.I.)

·       Reserve Survival Guide page 92

·       Holiday Pay Parameters

·       Holiday Pay (including Birthday Holiday) Parameters Should Your Trip Cancel

·       How does Deadhead Deviation Impact Holiday Pay?

Gallagher Bassett Data Breach

As some of you may recall, our prior administrator for Workers Compensation Claims was a firm known as Gallagher Bassett.   Some number of years ago, Gallagher Bassett was replaced by our current Workers Compensation administrator, Sedgewick.

We are learning that some Members have received communication from Gallagher Bassett advising them of a data breach at their company dating back to the period between June 3, 2020 through September 26, 2020.

We have confirmed with Gallagher Bassett that the written communication sent to the homes of those affected is legitimate.  Members with questions not addressed in the Gallagher Bassett communication may contact them at 855 731 3320 – Monday – Friday, 8:00A – 5:30P CT (excluding holidays).

Reminders & Dates:

October – Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October & November – AFA Opening Proposal Roadshows
OCT 12 – Primary Bidding for November Schedules Now Open
OCT 15 – 20 Day Annual Election Period for Vacations Ends
OCT 17 – Primary Bidding for November Schedules Closes at 0800 HDT
OCT 23 – First Round Vacation Bidding Opens
OCT 29 - Open Enrollment Period for Retirees Closes
OCT 30 – November Flying Month Begins
OCT 30 – Third Trimester CBT DUE
OCT 30 – Daylight Savings Time 2021 Begins in the U.K.
OCT 31 – First Round Vacation Bidding Closes
NOV 07 – Daylight Savings Time 2021 Begins in the United States


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