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COVID-19 Pandemic Temporary Commuter Program Cancelled

Date: June 18, 2021

The Commuter Program, Section 28 of our Contract, creates the opportunity for us to live where we want to, while at the same time, affording us the opportunity to fly from the base of our choice. 

In some instances, our life circumstances may have changed, and our responsibilities require us to live in a location while we support family or loved ones.  In other instances, our ever-changing life circumstances during the last 15 months have created the need for some of us to become uprooted and relocate.  As flying returns, many of us may now see ourselves in a situation where commuting is our only alternative.

During the past year and based on the reduction in flight schedules at our airline and the realities of the pandemic, AFA and Inflight management shared an understanding of the need to assist Flight Attendants who commute by air.  In cooperation with United management in June 2020, AFA attained a temporary modification to the contract provisions of Section 28.B.4.b. which reduced the number of flights which were required to be available when using the Commuter Program from two to one. 

As our airline continues to recover and United builds back the aircraft schedule, Inflight management and AFA discussed the continuing need for temporary modification given the significantly improved aircraft schedule.  Inflight management has expressed a view that the airline schedule has improved to the point that the circumstances which called for the original modification now no longer exist.  Based on these changes, management sees a path forward to returning to the negotiated provisions of Section 28 and has set July 15, 2021 as the date on which this will become effective.  Consistent with the terms of the Letter of Agreement, United management has provided the Union with the necessary 30-day notice of cancellation.

Effective July 15, 2021, the provisions of Section 28.B.4.b.:

The temporary requirement for Flight Attendants be listed on one (1) flight is no longer permissible and a requirement to be listed for a secondary flight will again be required starting July 15, 2021.  No other provisions of Section 28 were modified.

As a reminder, Members are to keep track of travel records, including PNRs, in the event they have trouble commuting to ensure they have the necessary information to avail themselves of the protections offered by the Commuter Program provisions.

We encourage you to review this Section 28 Contract language and, to contact your AFA Local Council if you have any additional questions about the Commuter Program.

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