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Work Positions on Operational Pairings

Date: April 2, 2021

Operational Pairings, which can typically be identified as pairings in the 8000 - 9000 range (most commonly in the 9000 range) are not seen often and when they present themselves can be a source of questions especially as it pertains to where those assigned these operational pairings work on the aircraft.  Information on the Established Staffing Guidelines provides additional support in obtaining answers to these questions.

Operational Pairings are positions created due to operational issues such as needing to re-crew a segment(s) due to weather delays/cancellations or perhaps replacing a position that became vacant due to illness down-line; or any other operational need that may occur.

Operational Pairings do not have work positions assigned to them and are considered unassigned positions, which will be determined during briefing.  If only one position is an Operational Pairing, the Flight Attendant assigned the Operational Pairing assumes the one open position that exists.  This most commonly occurs in an instance where, for example, a 737-700 aircraft having an FAA minimum of three (3) Flight Attendants is replaced by a 737-800 aircraft having an FAA minimum of four (4) Flight Attendants.  The base pairing will work the positions specific for that aircraft and an operational pairing will be added to the flight to ensure FAA minimum staffing requirements are met.

During briefing, when there are multiple Flight Attendants with Operational Pairings those Flight Attendants who have the Operational Pairing numbers fill the remaining open positions not covered by the scheduled crew in seniority order.

If all Flight Attendants working a flight have Operational Pairings, ALL positions will be filled in seniority order during briefing by qualified Flight Attendants.  With the exception of those work positions that are determined by the company and included in the monthly bid packet (Section 9.G.5.a.1.), work positions are also determined in seniority order.  Examples of these pre-determined work positions that are included in the bid packet are those assigned to language qualified Flight Attendants or the International Purser.

NOTE: Flight Attendants who assume premium pay positions (IP, Purser, LQ, Galley 757 or Widebody) will contact Crew Scheduling prior to departure if time permits. If unable, submit an Override Pay Exception via Help Hub at earliest convenience.

REMINDERS: Positions obtained through the bid award and trade process are NOT considered unassigned positions with the exception of the Purser position. Flight Attendants who pick up the domestic Purser position from Open Time CAN be senior opted out of the position by a more senior lineholder at the beginning of the pairing; provided the more senior lineholders’ pairing contains identical segments.

If there are multiple base-pairings assigned to a flight, the base-pairing that was originally assigned to the flight will work their positions. The remaining positions assigned Operational Pairings are filled in seniority order.

Operational Variable Staffing Pairings (9XI_ or 9XS_) are not included in the bid process and are added based on economy cabin load factors. These specific pairings are not considered unassigned positions and the Flight Attendant will fill the Work Position according to the pairing number on the Staffing Sheets.

  • 9XI signifies an International Variable Staffing Position
  • 9XS signifies a Domestic Variable Staffing Position

Flight Attendants are encouraged to reference the Position Bidding Supplement Guide, Established Staffing Guidelines, Staffing Sheets and the Bid/Work Position Matrices inside the Bid Packet Cover Letter.

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