E-Lines: June 04, 2021
June 4, 2021
Vaccination Letter of Agreement – Spread the Word!
As we reported yesterday in a Special Edition of E-lines, AFA and United management have a shared priority in getting as many Flight Attendants vaccinated as quickly as possible for several reasons. First and foremost, the vaccine provides an additional layer of protection in addition to mask compliance and cleaning process initiatives. It is anticipated, without advance notice, some countries may begin to require flight crews to be vaccinated. Having these records in place allows United to meet these requirements quickly and efficiently and maintain a competitive advantage within the industry while ensuring each of us can continue to fly our awarded schedules without interruption.
The full Letter of Agreement is available for your review in the non-public area of the United MEC website.
We want to ensure that we spread the word on the availability of this negotiated incentive. If you know of friends or flying partners who are away on vacation, especially now through June 9, 2021, we encourage you to try to reach out to alert them of the need to either upload the vaccination documentation via MyInfo/Manager’s Toolbox, accessible from the company’s website, or start the vaccination process to maximize access to the additional vacation days.
We’ve been asked a couple of questions that suggest some additional clarification may be needed. For those who have already been vaccinated and who have uploaded their vaccination documentation into the system, you are eligible to receive the highest-level incentive or the three (3) vacation days for use next year. Those Flight Attendants who are on leave of absence returning after July 1, 2021, will be afforded an additional opportunity to upload the vaccination information within fourteen days of return to active service.
While the company does expect Flight Attendants to maintain their fully vaccinated status, because the nature of the booster is not immediately known, there is no requirement for the booster to be administered. In the event you might be unable to have the booster administered, there will be no impact on the incentive vacation days. However, in the event the booster is required, you will be ineligible to fly to destinations in any country requiring you to be fully vaccinated and you will be ineligible for pay protection in the event you are removed from any pairings.
For those removed from pairings without pay protection, because there is no pay protection there are no reassignment rights in this circumstance. You will, however, be able to decide to fly over those same days to destinations not requiring the vaccine.
Flight Attendants on leave of absence extending beyond July 1, 2021, must return prior to December 31, 2021, in order to receive the vacation days for 2022.
Expansion of Contactless Payment and Alcohol Sales Continues
Over the course of the holiday weekend, AFA remained in contact with United management addressing the anticipated expansion of onboard alcohol sales. Based on those discussions and AFA advocacy, the company will not implement the expansion of beer/wine sales of flights between 200-800 miles. However, on flights over 800 miles and those that operate hub to hub, the expansion of onboard alcohol sales will be implemented.
We continue to insist that Inflight management must communicate their support for Flight Attendants onboard the aircraft until the nationwide uptick in unruly travelers is reversed.
While it is our view that the best way to avoid the adversity is to temporarily eliminate alcohol sales in the cabin, where disorderly conduct can be magnified with the addition of alcohol into the mix, we must not lose sight of the fact that Flight Attendants ultimately control the distribution of alcohol in the cabin under both company policy and Federal Air Regulations. Of importance, United’s policy includes a zero-tolerance approach to passengers who bring their own personal supply which may not be consumed on the aircraft. Further, FARs restrict the carriage of any passenger who appears to be intoxicated. Passengers who appear to be intoxicated should not be permitted to board an airplane and we recommend that you involve the Captain in any instances where you may have concern.
All sales will be completed using Contactless payment in the Inflight Service app version 1.2.110 on your Link device. You may also reference the Contactless Payment Overview within the Link video library for further instructions.
Requirement to Don Oxygen Mask and Life Vest Reinstated
The temporary COVID-19 FAA Exemption that allowed Flight Attendants to refrain from donning oxygen masks and life vests during safety demonstrations has expired. As a result, effective June 1, 2021, Flight Attendants are, once again, required to “fully demonstrate” the oxygen mask and life vest when performing live safety demonstrations. Donning both the oxygen mask and the life vest is a requirement to comply with FAA regulations. This reinstatement is yet another indication that we are coming out of the pandemic.
Flight Attendants are welcome to sanitize and disinfect this safety equipment prior to donning it using the Clorox wipes provided on the aircraft. Please remember to maintain your face covering in place while donning the oxygen mask during the safety demonstration. However, should you experience an actual decompression, you should remove face coverings, put on the nearest oxygen mask, and secure yourself.
The COVID-19 Announcement Guide has been revised to remove the language that Flight Attendants will not be demonstrating the life vest and oxygen masks. The revised Announcement Guide also provides the appropriate announcement in the case of an actual decompression.
Cabin safety checks are still required following the safety video and live safety demonstration. Doing so will ensure cabin readiness and provide passengers with the opportunity to ask questions regarding the safety demonstration or any other safety concern. Starting the safety demonstration video as soon as possible after door closure is essential. Doing so ensures adequate time to complete the demonstration and conduct an effective cabin check.
As a reminder, during taxi, Flight Attendants are required by regulation to remain at their “duty stations” with safety belts and shoulder harnesses fastened except to perform duties related to the safety of the airplane and its occupants.
Self-Temperature Checks Still Required
In yet another sign that we are conquering the pandemic, the company recently announced that temperature screenings will become voluntary for most employees before their shift. Please note, however, that Flight Attendants will still be required to conduct self-administered temperature checks prior to and throughout their pairing assignments to comply with an FAA mandate. In addition, a personal thermometer remains a required duty item.
Please continue wellness checks and temperature readings twice a day while on duty, both before reporting to work and at/near the end of your duty day. Also, take your temperature if you feel feverish. The Teams App reminds Flight Attendants when to perform temperature self-checks.
Of course, you are always welcome to visit a temperature screening location, as they will still be available. If you do receive an elevated temperature screening (100 F or above), wait 10 minutes, and re-take your temperature. If the second reading is still elevated, Flight Attendants should follow the sick time reporting process and leave work.
June is Pride Month
June is designated Pride Month where the world’s LGBTQ community comes together and celebrates the freedom to be themselves. AFA both enthusiastically promotes inclusionary practices and celebrates the diversity of our Membership. Pride gatherings are rooted in the arduous history of minority groups who have struggled for decades to overcome prejudice and be accepted for who they are.
At the core of AFA’s value system is the belief that everyone is entitled to be treated respectfully and in a dignified manner regardless of race, creed, color, gender, beliefs, or sexual orientation. The LGBTQ community has suffered discrimination and social stigmatization in the past, prompting the development of the Pride theme as a positive way to combat injustice and discrimination, and to promote dignity and equal rights. AFA stands for the principles of fairness, decency, and understanding as we serve our Membership with the very finest in leadership and representation.
During the month of June, we ask AFA Members to Fly their True Colors by being involved or showing support in something you are proud to stand up for.
AFA is also a longtime supporter of Pride @ Work, the AFL-CIO diversity organization working towards full equality for LGBTQ people in the workplace. The annual Celebrating Solidarity event recognizes Pride Month and spotlights key allies in the mission to build power for LGBTQ working people. In years past, this has been an in-person gathering in Washington, D.C., this year it will be a virtual event using Facebook Live. For more information visit https://www.prideatwork.org/celebrating-solidarity-2021.
AFA-CWA Scholarship Award Recipients Announced
The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA Scholarship Fund provides financial assistance to dependents of AFA Flight Attendants who will be attending a college or university.
This year's recipients of AFA-CWA Scholarships:
- Kaila Aiwohi, daughter of Arvi Aiwohi, United AFA Flight Attendant.
- Savannah Armas, daughter of Kelly Armas and sister of Alexa Armas, both Spirit AFA Flight Attendants.
- Amrine White, daughter of Taryn Call, Alaska AFA Flight Attendant.
- Alternate - Hannah Kropp, daughter of Karen Kropp, United AFA Flight Attendant.
Additionally, Union Plus awarded three scholarships to AFA-CWA:
- Karlee Barrett, daughter of United AFA Flight Attendant, Orinthia Barrett.
- Sydney Pizzinato, daughter of United AFA Flight Attendant, Mary Ann Pizzinato.
- Isabelle Shook, daughter of Alaska AFA Flight Attendant, Veda Shook.
Congratulations! We're so proud of you.
Reminders and Quick Links
June – Pride Month
June 14 – Flag Day
June 19 – Juneteenth
June 20 – Father’s Day
June 25 - August One and Three-Month Special COLAs Submission Deadline