Home > News > AFA DEBRIEF: November 16, 2021

AFA DEBRIEF: November 16, 2021

Date: November 16, 2021



  • Annual Benefits Open Enrollment Closes on November 19, 2021
  • Second Round Vacation Bidding Closes; Next up:  Vacation Trades by Seniority
  • Preparations for Christmas Wish List Now Underway
  • Mailing Union Dues Statements Resumes
  • $1,000 Special Award Payment to be Made on Special Check November 19, 2021
  • Support American Eagle Piedmont Flight Attendants on the Picket Line at CLT!
  • UMWA Day of Action - This Thursday, November 18

Annual Benefits Open Enrollment Closes on November 19, 2021

Annual Benefits Enrollment is ongoing through Friday, November 19, 2021.  We encourage everyone to use the comparison tool available from the Your Benefits Resources (YBR) website to evaluate available options.

As we mentioned earlier this month, there are some key items that you need to be aware of as it pertains to this year’s Benefits Open Enrollment:

  • You will default into a medical plan for 2022 as provided for in our Contract if you do not make an active election.   So, be sure to look at all your available options and ensure you are picking a plan that is right for you and your family.
  • Credits and surcharges on YBR will reset if you do not actively pick a plan during Annual Enrollment even if you had previously adjusted themThis year, you must certify eligibility for the wellness credit and to avoid the spousal surcharge.
  • For those in San Francisco who are in the Kaiser Northern California plan that was previously provided at no cost, in the absence of an alternate election, you will remain in the Kaiser plan and will be charged the applicable premium. 

For questions regarding open enrollment, you can contact the United Airlines Benefit Center at 1-(800)-651-1007 from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Central Time, Monday-Friday.

Second Round Vacation Bidding Closes; Next up:  Vacation Trades by Seniority

Today, the second-round vacation bidding period closed today.  Under our Contract, awards will be posted by November 20.  Once posted, the next step in the annual process is Open Time Trades by Seniority, the highlights of which follow:

After the annual vacation award, all available vacation days remaining will be published and the Open Time Trades by Seniority trade window will open by November 24th at 8:00 AM (HDT) and will close on November 30th at 8:00 AM (HDT).

  • You can view Open Vacation Time Allocations from the myVacation page and selecting the “to view Vacation Open Time Click Here”
  • Create Requests between November 24th and November 30th
  • There are multiple options for criteria as well as the ability to modify and delete requests 

The system processes all requests for a Flight Attendant until one is awarded or until their requests are exhausted and no trades can be made. The order in which requests are processed is based on the “Request Priority” specified by the Flight Attendant while submitting each OT Trade by Seniority trade request. 

The system moves through the list of trade requests in seniority order, either awarding a trade or leaving the trade request as unawarded if no trades are possible for the specified dates. When the system has passed through all trade requests, it begins again with the most senior Flight Attendant and passes through any trade requests that remain unawarded in the event that a trade can now be made. 

Once a trade request has been awarded, the system will no longer look back at that particular request to see if a higher preference trade request date has become available. 

The system continues this process until all possible trades have been granted.

Full details about this process, how to view allocations, and instructions on submitting/changing/removing requests is reviewed thoroughly on our Vacation microsite at www.unitedafa.org.

Preparations for Christmas Wish List Now Underway

Flight Attendants assigned to Reserve for the month of December, have an opportunity to preference where they would prefer to layover for the holiday. Section 8.H.8.c. of our Contract provides that at Christmas time, a Reserve Flight Attendant can indicate their preference for layover cities, for the three days before and two days following the holiday. Work is currently underway to update the system and have it in place for this year’s assignment process.

While the website is currently available to look at and actively use, it is important to understand that only requests placed on file December 1st or later will be considered for this year’s Christmas Wish list awards.  For your planning purposes, if you have placed a “Wish list” request on file, know that any and all requests placed on file prior to December 1, 2021 will be deleted from the system.

More information about our Contractual Christmas Wish List will be provided in the upcoming weeks.

Mailing Union Dues Statements Resumes

As you may recall, last year we reported there was a technology issue that affected the Membership and Dues system used by our staff at the International Office in Washington, D.C.  The magnitude of the issue was fairly significant, and it required our staff to essentially “rebuild” our dues records before getting the system up and running for the processing of current month dues.  We are pleased to report that work has been accomplished and we are able to return to a process where these statements can be sent to the Membership on a more regular basis.

We are receiving some questions which suggest we should review when, in fact, dues are owed under our AFA Constitution if not deducted.  Dues are owed if:

  • You are on a paid absence status such as sick leave or extended occupational illness status (where you are supplementing your TTD payment with hours from your sick leave bank resulting in pay from United Airlines, and
  • You are on an unpaid leave (except military) – for the first three (3) months of the leave

As part of the normal business process of the Union, we regularly send statements to our members when they have an outstanding dues balance.  This typically occurs when the individual does not have sufficient money left after all other deductions are satisfied on the mid-month paycheck from which dues can be collected.  Given the large number of COLAs, there have been instances where the mid-month paycheck has not been sufficient to allow these deductions to be taken.  When deductions are not taken and there is an outstanding dues balance, this can impact a Members ability to fully participate in their Union through Local Elections or any Contract ratification.  Please keep in mind, our intention is to let you know if advance that there is an outstanding balance.  You can also monitor this by reviewing your mid-month paycheck.  If Union dues were not deducted from the check, it is likely you have an outstanding balance due.

Members who wish to pay the outstanding balance can do so using the dues payment link on our website at United AFA-CWA via Credit Card. If you feel you received the letter in error or that the outstanding balance is incorrect, we encourage you to first review your mid-month pay advice.  

Remember, we pay dues one month in arrears. For example, if you receive a statement indicating your March 2021 dues are owed, look at your April 2021 pay advice to determine if dues were deducted.  If, after you’ve done that research, you still have questions, contact our Membership Services Department using the following link: https://www.afacwa.org/contact_membership_services/. Our International Office Staff will be able to review your payment history and guide you to a resolution and will assist in making any necessary adjustments, if applicable.

$1,000 Special Award Payment to be Made on Special Check November 19, 2021

As a reminder, the $1,000 Special Award payment from United Airlines in recognition of our work and dedication during the pandemic will be made on a special paycheck dated November 19, 2021.  In order to receive the $1,000 Special Award:

Flight Attendants must be active on November 10, 2021 to receive the payment on November 19th, or

Flight Attendants must be active on December 31, 2021 to receive the payment mid-January.

If not active on either of these dates, the employee is ineligible for the $1,000 Special Award payment.

Those individuals on Voluntary Separation Leave (VSL) are not eligible for these payments as they will not return to active service with the company. 

Additionally, and by way of an exception driven from the Executive Team, new hire Flight Attendants who graduate in November will be included as if on the books November 10th and will be eligible for the $1,000 Special Award.

Support American Eagle Piedmont Flight Attendants on the Picket Line at CLT!

AFA leadership from Piedmont Airlines is at the table with management this week for Piedmont Negotiations. The Piedmont MEC is holding a picket directly after negotiations this week in Charlotte.  If you are in Charlotte on Thursday, November 18th at 11:00AM ET, please consider coming out to the airport to support our brothers and sisters at Piedmont. RSVP to attend:


Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)
5501 Josh Birmingham Pkwy, Charlotte, NC 28208


Start: Thursday, November 18, 2021 • 11:00 AM
End: Thursday, November 18, 2021 • 12:00 PM

UMWA Day of Action - This Thursday, November 18

The United Mine Workers of America is holding a National Day of Action on Thursday, Nov 18 at 10am local time. They really need help turning out people in Newport Beach, CA, but also, we encourage attendance at any of the locations listed below. The miners have been striking in Alabama since April 1 and fighting for all of the things we are fighting for: a decent wage, good healthcare, control over their schedules, vacation, sick leave.  Let us help them fight the hedge funds and other forces trying to break the union.

If you are able to attend at any of the following locations, send an email to Taylor Garland to RSVP. tgarland@afacwa.org.  We really need your help on this initiative to support of brothers and sisters in their efforts to improve their livelihood.

Newport Beach, CA – BlackRock office

Address: 4400 MacArthur Blvd

Who: UMWA District 22, UNITE-HERE and labor allies


New York City, NY – BlackRock and Apollo

Address: 40 E. 52nd St. (BlackRock)

Address: 3 Bryant Park (Apollo)

Who: Buses from UMWA Dist. 31; NY labor allies,


Boston, MA – Fidelity and State Street

Address:  245 Summer St. (Fidelity)

Address: 1 Iron St. (State Street)

Who: Vans from UMWA Dist. 2; Boston labor allies


Washington D.C. – Fidelity Investments

Address: 1900 K St NW Suite 110, Washington, DC 20006

Who: International HQ staff, buses from UMWA Dist. 17, other labor unions in D.C.


Denver, CO – BlackRock office

Address: 44 Cook St. #100

Who: UMWA Region 4 & labor allies


NOV 16 – Revision #38 for eFAOM/eFAAB available in Manuals App, effective December 1st
NOV 19 – Benefits Enrollment Closes
NOV 25 – U.S. Holiday – Thanksgiving
NOV 30 – Link/Sled Recovery Protection Plans Closes
DEC 05 – Instant Vacation Trades Open


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