Home > News > E-Lines: April 27, 2021

E-Lines: April 27, 2021

Date: April 27, 2021

India Flight Update

Last week our EWR-DEL flight landed and the crew was asked to take a COVID-19 test.  This test had not been, and was not supposed to be, required for crew entering the country of India.  The captain of the flight refused the test on behalf of the entire crew, because there was insufficient and unsatisfactory information about what might happen if any of the crew were to test positive and be required to quarantine in India.  As you may be aware, India is in the midst of an unprecedented surge in the instances of COVID infection at the moment, where medical care is scarce and oxygen is in low supply.

The crew did not take the test, and did not clear immigration and customs, and instead returned to the United States.  Due in part, to the uncertainty of what expectations may be when entering India, United temporarily halted flights into the country to determine solutions.

As of tomorrow, Wednesday 28, there will be pre-departure COVID-19 testing for all United crews headed to DEL.  AFA along with ALPA are in contact with United corporate medical and Medaire to ensure there is mitigation for crew safety.  Pre-departure testing is a simple procedure that reduces the opportunity for any ill Flight Attendant to enter India and potentially end up requiring medical care or end up in quarantine.

Additionally, there are currently steps in place in case a crew member does become ill while on a layover in DEL.  AFA, ALPA and United corporate medical will continue to monitor and evaluate the safety of this destination.

Additionally, United published two Safety Alerts with updated information about travel into New Delhi (and other countries with restrictions), with comprehensive information, including a Q&A. We encourage you to be familiar with the information prior to checking in for any international pairing

Interline Travel Update for VSL Participants

There have been a number of moving parts pertaining to interline travel availability for those on the Voluntary Separation Leaves (VSL) and we've received a further clarification for those who are participating in the VSL and who wish to use interline travel.

We are being told that you don’t need a company ID badge for interline travel. Simply authenticating through myIDTravel, or ID90Travel.com website, and purchasing the pass on that website is considered suitable.

Should you encounter an issue where another airline refuses to let you travel because you don’t have a badge, we need to get that information to the Employee Travel Center (etc@united.com) to ensure this is addressed with the travel office of the other airline.

We're happy we have this late breaking information to share with you and appreciate your understanding that things are developing quickly as it pertains to this issue.

Senior Opting by a Lineholder
Recently, we have received questions from Reserve Flight Attendants regarding the application of the language for the circumstances under which a Reserve can be senior opted from her/his position.

As outlined in the Contract Section 7.O., Reserve Flight Attendants may be senior opted out of a position under the following circumstances: 

At the airport-

Only the open position that was assigned to a Reserve is available for senior option. If a more senior Flight Attendant senior opts the Reserve from her/his position, the Reserve Flight Attendant assumes the position that was vacated by the more senior Flight Attendant. The Reserve may only be opted out of a position once, and the seniority option can occur only at the beginning of a pairing and before preflight duties have begun. 

Reserve Flight Attendants assigned to a position having a different pairing number cannot be opted out of the position unless the pairings contain identical flight segments.

Language qualified (LQ) Reserve Flight Attendants may only be senior opted by senior LQ Flight Attendants having the same primary language qualification and in the language base.

Note: Reserve Flight Attendants assigned to an LQ position who are not qualified in the designated language may be opted by a more senior Flight Attendant.

Reserve International Purser Qualified Flight Attendants may only be senior opted by a more senior International Purser Flight Attendant. An International Purser Qualified Flight Attendant shall have priority over a non-International Purser Flight Attendant who has been assigned to an open International Purser bid position.

If the [domestic] Purser (“A position”) is picked up from open time, seniority option shall be permitted among all the Flight Attendants on the same pairing even if the position is occupied by a lineholder.  

Can a more senior Reserve senior opt another Reserve?
Yes, a more senior Reserve may senior opt another Reserve, unless the other Reserve has picked up the trip on a day off, in which case they are considered a Lineholder for the duration of that trip.

Can a more senior Reserve senior opt a junior Lineholder?
No, Reserves may not senior opt Lineholders (or Reserves who have picked up a trip on a day off), except in the case of a Purser (“A” position) that was picked up from Open Time.

Can a junior Lineholder senior opt a more senior Reserve?
No, the opting Flight Attendant must be senior.

Can a Lineholder be senior opted out of the Purser (“A”) position?
If the Purser (“A”) position is picked up from Open Time, seniority option shall be permitted among all Flight Attendants on the same pairing (or pairing with identical flight segments).

How will move-up Lineholders or Reserves on a day off appear on the crew list to distinguish from Reserves who may be senior opted?
Move-up Lineholders and Reserves on days off will be designated with the Lineholder code (LH) in the far-right column of the crew list display in CCS.

When may senior opting occur during a pairing?
The seniority option can occur only at the beginning of a pairing; after Flight Attendant boarding time and before preflight duties have begun. This ensures all Flight Attendants on the crew have an equal opportunity to participate.

How many times can a Flight Attendant be senior opted?
A Flight Attendant may only be opted out of a position once. The opted Flight Attendant assumes the position vacated by the more senior Flight Attendant.

Can a Flight Attendant be senior opted by someone who is not on the same pairing?
Flight Attendants assigned to a position having a different pairing number may not be senior opted unless the pairings contain identical flight segments.

Can a more senior Flight Attendant senior opt a junior Reserve from a position that requires a special qualification (International Purser or Language Qualified)?
Language Qualified (LQ) Reserves may only be senior opted out of a designated LQ position by a more senior LQ Flight Attendant who is in the LQ sub-base and who has the same primary language qualification.

Note: Non-LQ Reserves assigned to cover the open work position of an LQ Flight Attendant may be opted by a more senior Flight Attendant.

International Purser Reserves may only be senior opted out of the International Purser position by a more senior International Purser Flight Attendant who is in the International Purser sub-base.

Note: A Flight Attendant who is in the International Purser sub-base shall have priority over a non-International Purser Flight Attendant to senior opt a non-International Purser Reserve who has been assigned to the open International Purser position.

Can a more senior Flight Attendant who is in a designated LQ position on the flight senior opt a junior non-International Purser Reserve who has been assigned to the open International Purser position?
Yes. The Reserve would assume the work position of the senior LQ Flight Attendant. The LQ Flight Attendant would work the International Purser position but would still fulfill their language duties on the flight.

Finally, as a reminder, Flight Attendants should make every effort to inform crew scheduling when trading premium positions onboard the aircraft. If, however, a Flight Attendant who assumes a premium paid position is unable to contact crew scheduling prior to departure (including those who are in the middle of a pairing) should contact crew scheduling to report the change as to who worked the premium position. In addition, Flight Attendants may submit an Override Pay Exception at their first opportunity, via Hub Help.

Additional information can be found in Section 7.O.7. of our Contract, or by contacting your Local Council.

Reminder, Voluntary Waiver of Duty Maximum

As Flight Attendants we know that situations revolving around COVID-19 may evolve quickly and call for immediate action. In the event of an extreme irregular operation, where an option is presented that necessitates the voluntary waiving of their Maximum Duty, refer to Section 6.Y. of our Contract.

At Company request a Flight Attendant may concur to extend the applicable duty time maximum as provided in Paragraphs S. and T. above, to twenty (20) hours, except non-stop flights scheduled with 12:01 or more block hours may be extended as provided in Paragraph 4. below.

Once a Flight Attendant has concurred to extend her/his duty time maximum, she/he shall be guaranteed a minimum of one hour of pay at five (5) times her/his hourly rate in addition to her/his actual credited time for the pairing. Every hour or portion thereof in excess of the first hour shall be paid at five (5) times her/his actual hourly rate.

Such compensation is for pay purposes only and may not be used to offset any other guarantees. The Company is prohibited from negotiating with Flight Attendants for any compensation or incentive to obtain Flight Attendant concurrence.

Non-stop flights scheduled with 12:01 block hours or more shall be restricted to a two (2) hour additional extension, including flights as specified in Paragraph T.3. above.

As published in the Legalities Flight Attendant Guide; There are times when the Company is experiencing irregular operations that flight delays can extend beyond a Flight Attendant’s maximum duty time limitation. When this happens, and the Flight Attendant may be requested to volunteer to waive the duty time maximum, in return she/he will receive compensation outlined in the provision above.

The Company may ask you to extend your Domestic and International duty time maximums to the FAR maximum scheduled duty time of 20:00 hours. For non-stop flights of 12:01 hours or greater, the extension will be limited to 2:00 additional hours.

If you concur to extend your duty period you will be guaranteed 1:00 hour of pay at 5 times your hourly rate in addition to the credited time for the pairing. You will also be paid at 5 times your hourly rate for every hour or portion thereof in excess of the contractual maximum in Section 6.S. or 6.T. There must be a request from Crew Scheduling and explicit consent from the Flight Attendant for this contract provision to be valid. This compensation is for pay purposes only.

Further questions about this contractual provision should be directed to your Local Council Representatives.

Trimester 2 CBT Due Thursday April 29th at 2359 CT - Two days Remaining
The second Trimester of CBTs (Computer Based Training) comes to a close April 29 at 2159 Central Standard Time (CST). Members can access their required modules on Flying Together under My Work > Training and Qualifications > Takeoff Learning.

Remember to document your progress, as you complete each module, to protect your time in the event of an inaccurate save or technology “glitch." Once completed we suggest you take a photo or screen shot of your work to keep for your personal records.

Should you experience any issues with the Takeoff Learning platform contact 877-UAL-ESC9 and your Local Council to record the incident.

CCS Priority Messages to Reserves Missing Pairing Information
We’ve heard from some of our Members who have received CCS Priority Messages with Reserve assignments that the pairing information is missing from the message. The message includes an "error" without the possibility of acknowledging, and instructions to "contact Crew Scheduling." Below is one such example.

It has been determined the issue seems to be related to Reserve assignments involving the Purser position. United’s IT staff is currently testing a fix, but does not anticipate it being deployed until the beginning of May.  As a reminder and until resolved, Flight Attendants who receive these messages are reminded they are to contact the crew desk to verify their assignment information, as required in Section 8.F.2. of our Contract.

 

 

 

 

 

 



Reminders and Quick Links  

April 29 - CQ 2021 Trimester CBT 2 Due by 2359 CST  
April 30 – Joe Beirne Scholarship Closes 
May 4 – June Special COLA Bid Closes
May 13/14 – AFA Board of Directors Meeting


 


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