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AFA DEBRIEF: October 22, 2021

Date: October 22, 2021

AFA DEBRIEF – October 22, 2021

  • AFA Professional Standards – Union First!
  • United Announces Third (3rd) Quarter 2021 Financial Results
  • 2022 First Round Vacation Bidding Opened Today! 
  • Reserve Timeline for the November 2021 Bidding Month
  • New CCS Feature Offers Alternate Way to Check-in for Standby
  • Move-Up Line - Removing Name from Move-up List
  • 10 Hours Rest Is Law: Implementation is Moving Now After Years of Obstruction  
  • CQ Training Cycle
  • Travel Time versus Settling Time When Transferring 
  • Flight Attendants at American Eagle Carrier Piedmont Vote 100% to Strike
  • Inflight Scheduling’s Reserve Symposium

AFA Professional Standards – Union First!

Professional Standards is a component of AFA EAP (Employee Assistance Program). It exists to assist Flight Attendants in any area that affects professional conduct. In addition, AFA EAP has a great working relationship with ALPA’s Professional Standards Committee to help address conflicts that arise between Flight Attendants and Pilots. 

We know that we must all take personal responsibility for creating a cooperative, respectful work environment that is tolerant of different opinions. However, when conflict occurs, we must take it upon ourselves to address and make every effort to resolve it respectfully. 

We encourage the resolution of any disagreement by trying to discuss the specific behavior or area of contention with the individual involved seeking to find an acceptable solution.

We recommend that flying partners approach each other and speak about the problem in a calm, non-threatening manner out of the view of passengers. Sometimes it is better to wait until after work, off the airplane, when both have had some time to think more clearly about the matter.

Above all, keep it professional. If a discussion does not seem to be productive, call your AFA EAP Representative to discuss a Professional Standards matter.

AFA EAP is a voluntary and confidential service of your Union. We can help you to work out any difficulty and avoid “writing up” flying partners or other employees, where both parties may then potentially be subject to disciplinary action.

As part of AFA’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP), we have trained Professional Standards volunteers available to you in every domicile. After listening to your concerns, EAP representatives will follow up on the situation and pursue the appropriate action necessary.

If you have an interpersonal issue on a flight with a flying partner or during your workday, remember to “Contact your Union First.”

Together, we can keep each other safe.

To contact your Local Professional Standards Representative, visit the Committees Home page on unitedafa.org.

United Announces Third (3rd) Quarter 2021 Financial Results

This week, the company announced its third-quarter 2021 financial results.  Despite the impact of the COVID-19 Delta variant on United’s third-quarter revenue, the company remains confidently on track to achieve the long-term financial targets laid out earlier this summer.  One highlight reported by management was that third-quarter 2021 capacity was down 28% compared to third quarter 2019.  Also, the company stated a significant amount of debt was raised to make it through COVID, which must now be repaid.

However, United stated that the company remains "confidently on track to achieve the range of longer-term financial targets" it provided in the summer of 2021. The company cited a rebound in premium leisure travel, recovery of business travel, reopening of European borders in November, and loosening travel restrictions elsewhere in the world as factors supporting its recovery. The company plans to increase international capacity by 10% in 2022, while Domestic capacity remains flat relative to 2019. Generally, United expects the fourth-quarter 2021 capacity to be down roughly 23% and total revenue to be down 25% to 30% compared to the fourth quarter in 2019.

For more information regarding the third-quarter financial results, please go to Flying Together.

2022 First Round Vacation Bids Opened Today!

The first-round vacation bidding opened today at 11:00 AM CT for all domiciles and will remain open until October 31, 2021, at 0800 Home domicile time (HDT). 

Take a few minutes to look at the overview of the vacation process, broken down by dates and specific activities tied to vacation bidding, which is available from our Vacation microsite.  

Reserve Timeline for the November 2021 Bidding Month

If awarded or assigned a Reserve line for the November bid month, there are various scheduling request deadlines and processes that occur during the period between bid awards and through the first week of the new month.

While some of these events occur on the same calendar days each month, there are a few that are based on when the new Flight Attendant bid month begins, which may vary from month to month.

For your convenience, we have compiled a Reserve bid month timeline detailing these items in both calendar and list formats.

For more information, please contact your Local Council office.

New Mobile CCS Feature Offers Alternate Stand-by Check-in Alternative

This week, the company announced starting November 1, 2021, a new way to check-in for a Reserve standby assignment by offering up a Touchless Check-in tool for all locations except for satellite bases at this time.

This new tool supports Reserves at all domicile locations by allowing them to check-in using their mobile devices when in the vicinity of a crew lounge.   If you check-in via CCS Touchless Check-In, the scheduling department will consider your cell phone available unless you call and indicate otherwise.   The use of the feature is optional as the crew lounge phone will still be available for checking-in for your standby assignment.

By logging into Mobile CCS, on top of the page under “My Trip,” you will see “Touchless Check-In.”   Here, Mobile CCS uses your location in determining whether you are in the vicinity of the crew lounge for check-in.   If you click “Don’t Allow,” you will not be able to use this feature and must check in via the crew lounge phone.   The location is only used to determine whether you are in the check-in area.

Once you allow sharing your location, you will have a check-in screen.   Below the check-in button, there will be a history of check-ins.   The “System” column will either show “uCrew” or “CCS.”   “Ucrew” indicates the check-in was manually recorded by scheduling whereas the “CCS” indicates a check-in recorded via the “Touchless Check-In” tool.   

For more information, please review the company’s latest Inflight Service Weekly.

Move-Up Line - Removing Name from Move-up List

Reserve Move-Up Lines are built by the company from the first through the fifth day of the bid month (not the calendar month) to the extent adequate Reserve coverage can be maintained. Move-up lines will be constructed with either all Domestic or all International pairings.

After the bidding window has closed, a Reserve can remove her/his name from the Move-Up List by 2359 on the last day of the active bid month, in CCS by accessing General Settings > Move-Up Electing.

If all the protected days specified by the Reserve cannot be accommodated, the Reserve will remain on the Move-Up List in Seniority order until all the protected day(s) can be honored. A Reserve who indicated no protected day(s) off, or whose protected day(s) have been satisfied, must accept the awarded Move-Up Line.

For additional information review the most current edition of the Reserve Guide at unitedafa.org.

10 Hours Rest Is Law: Implementation is Moving Now After Years of Obstruction  

Our larger AFA organizational effort to secure 10 hours minimum rest under the law was successful in October 2018—closing a safety, health, and equality loophole in aviation.  The prior administration did not follow congressional instruction on our 10 hours or hundreds of other safety initiatives in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, and instead put our rest into a regulatory process that was meant to kill it.  

We made it clear the next President needed to make this a priority and our 10 hours minimum irreducible rest takes a big step toward implementation today.   Despite the outcome of congressionally mandated fatigue studies that confirmed Flight Attendant fatigue is real and that it presents a safety and health risk, airlines have argued to the federal government that it would be too costly to implement the 10 hours minimum rest.

After the Bill passed in October 2018, AFA negotiated with some airlines to include the 10 hours rest in our contracts and was successful in getting it implemented quickly after the ratification of those agreements.   But this safety issue needs to be a Federal Rule that applies across the industry, and it is even more urgent with the changes to our schedules where long days and short nights due to reduced service from COVID are prevalent.

Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg put our 10 hours back on track, and after internal review with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), where our Union met to press the urgency and facts about implementation at some AFA airlines, the agency sent their review back to the FAA over a month before the deadline.   The minute it hit FAA Administrator Steve Dickson’s desk last night, he signed the order for a notice of our rule on rest.   The rulemaking process now requires a comment period of 60 days, then the FAA will move to implement the final rule.

Fatigue is real.   From President Biden to Secretary Buttigieg, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson, and our champion Chairman Peter DeFazio, who has never stopped fighting on this – we were heard and each of these leaders worked hard to undo the efforts to kill our hard-won rest and put it back on the track to implementation.

Together with TWU, APFA, IAM and ALPA, and all our allies, we will keep the heat on and press for full Federal implementation as soon as possible.   The fatigue we all feel has not stopped and neither will we until this rule is fully implemented.

CQ Training Cycle

Earlier this year and we began our recovery from COVID, the company announced that due to the exponential amount of CQ/RQ training offered earlier this year and because of the Payroll Support Program (PSP), some Flight Attendants may now have an updated CQ due month, requiring them to attend training twice in 2021.

You may view your current CQ due month by navigating through CCS>Main Menu>Bidding>CQ Due Month.   You may also see your CQ due month in CCS by clicking your picture and selecting in the drop-down menu My Info> FA-General FA Qualifications.

By selecting the date that works before your schedule, we recommend Flight Attendants pick-up CQ beginning on the 23rd of the month prior to attending training during the trip trade window.  

For November CQ training, you may continue to pick up through November 3, 2021.  Beginning November 4, 2021, failure to pick up training may result in the Flight Attendant Service Center assigning you training based on your schedule and class availability.  

Travel versus Settling Time When Transferring 

Recent transfer activity has resulted in several questions about the difference between Travel & Settling Time, the difference between the two items, and how they are used.

Section 17.A. of our Contract outlines the Contractual provisions when transferring to a different base when permanent base vacancies occur or when the company opens a base. Travel time is associated with reporting to the new base prior to the first flight assignment.

Flight Attendants transferred to fill a vacancy are required to be available to begin the assignment on the date set by the company and our Contract requires the company to provide no less than a ten (10) day notice.  Successful bidders are eligible for Moving Expenses to newly established bases and shall be considered transferred at Company Expense.

Travel time from one base to another is established based on whether a Flight Attendant elects at the time of accepting the travel to either fly or drive to the new base location. Travel Time is applied to consecutive days immediately preceding the effective date of the transfer.

Once at the location, Section 17.H. provides for Settling Time, that is, time upon arrival at the base that is provided for the purpose of settling at the new location.

Flight Attendants who accept transfer awards will receive a notification providing information about receiving optional applicable travel time to the new base. A Flight Attendant who voluntarily transfers to a newly established base or who is initially assigned to a base will be provided up to three days, at her/his option, to settle. This time can be arranged anytime within twelve (12) months of the effective date of the new assignment. To qualify for settling time, there must be a physical move or change of address.

Requests for Settling Time must be submitted via Help Hub and at least seven days’ notice is required.  Review the following articles for additional information:

Harmonized Transfer Awards

Transition to New Base Transfer Request Process

Flight Attendants at American Eagle Carrier Piedmont Vote 100% to Strike

Flight Attendants at American Eagle carrier Piedmont overwhelmingly voted this week to authorize a strike, with 100% in support of authorizing the strike.

Piedmont Flight Attendants represented by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA have been engaged in contract negotiations for more than three years. Negotiations stalled after management put forward an offer with minimal pay increases that are offset by higher health premiums. Taken together, Flight Attendants would earn less under the contract proposed by Piedmont.

“We’ve seen in the last few months how delicate the aviation system is, and how much it depends on every worker. The Flight Attendants at Piedmont are sending a message to management and to our entire industry,” said AFA International President Sara Nelson. “Workers across the country are on strike right now to end two-tier employment systems where workers earn less for the same jobs. Regional Flight Attendants earn as much as forty-five percent less for the same work, and Piedmont is at the bottom of the scale. Piedmont Flight Attendants want a fair deal, but if it takes a strike, we’ve got their backs across the industry.”

Following the 100% strike vote with 75.4% participating, AFA could request that the National Mediation Board (NMB) declare that negotiations are deadlocked and release both parties into a 30-day "cooling off" period, which would then lead to a strike deadline. AFA has a trademarked strike strategy known as CHAOS™ or Create Havoc Around Our System™. With CHAOS, a strike could affect the entire system or a single flight. The union decides when, where and how to strike without notice to management or passengers. US-based carriers are still trying to recover to full staffing following the pandemic, and staff shortages have caused significant operational issues at Southwest, Spirit, American and Delta in recent months. Even the disruption of a few flights could threaten operations across the American Airlines Group system. 

Act below by calling on American Airlines Group Management to get back to the bargaining table and agree to a Fair Contract for Piedmont Flight Attendants.

Sign the petition today and support our Sisters and Brothers at Piedmont!

Inflight Scheduling’s Reserve Symposium

As announced, the company will be conducting a monthly Reserve Symposium that Flight Attendants will be invited to attend.  The “open discussion” symposium will allow Mike Sasse, current Managing Director – Crew Planning, Scheduling and Administration and company subject matter experts to give an “overview of reserve percentages, how the company develops a forecast using historical information, the process around move-up planning and awards and the approach to setting and adjusting the levels for reserve pools.”

This symposium is a live event held on the Teams App platform with the inaugural Reserve Symposium beginning on November 22, 2021.  

We will pass along more information as it comes along.


October – Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October & November – AFA Opening Proposal Roadshows
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 01 - New CCS Feature Offers Alternate Way to Check-in for Standby Begins
NOV 07 – Daylight Savings Time 2021 Begins in the United States
NOV 22 – Inflight’s Reserve Symposium



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