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AFA E-Lines June 08, 2021

Date: June 8, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccination Letter of Agreement – Deadline Fast Approaching!

We want to call everyone’s attention to the impending vaccination deadline in order to receive the three vacation-day incentive for use in 2022. The Vaccination Letter of Agreement specifies:

A Flight Attendant, including those on leave of absence returning before July 1, 2021, who has received at least the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by June 9, 2021 and receives the second dose, of a two-dose regime, according to the manufacturer requirements of the vaccine being administered, shall receive three (3) vacation days, at three hours and fifteen minutes per day (3:15) for a total of nine hours and forty-five minutes (9:45), in addition to their 2022 vacation accrual. 

This provision ensures that if you start the vaccination process by June 9, 2021, even if it is not completed until later due to the manufacturer’s recommendation for the second dose of a two-dose regime, you are still able to qualify for the vacation incentive. 

Hotel and Layover Safety

When we think and talk about safety as it pertains to our professional lives, we tend to place those thoughts within the context of “onboard” safety issues.  Of equal importance, however, is our personal safety at layover locations and in layover hotels.   As we often remind each other, we should always maintain situational awareness and be aware of our surroundings at layover locations and at hotels, just as we do on the airplane.   As we begin to see a rebound in travel and within the travel industry, reviewing hotel safety guidelines is relevant.

  • Do not “check-in” or post layover hotel locations on any social media.
  • Insist that the crew sign-in sheet be kept confidential and in a secure place.
  • Try to have rooms assigned close to other crewmembers, when possible.
  • Do not mention room numbers in the presence of other hotel guests and request hotel staff not announce your room number.
  • Prior to closing the room door, check your room with a fellow crewmember and use your suitcase to prop the door open.
  • When you are alone on the layover, you might consider requesting hotel security or other staff escort you to your room and wait while you inspect the room.
  • Check closets, under beds, behind drapes, and the bath.  Ensure the phone is working and that you can directly dial 911 or other emergency numbers, if needed and it’s locally available.
  • Take note of the number of fire exits, where they are located and if re-entry is possible from floor to floor.
  • Once inside the room with the door closed, use all available door and window locks.
  • While at the layover hotel, keep personal luggage in your possession or secured at all times.  To the extent possible, leave valuables at home or place them in the hotel safe. Consider securing your LINK device in the room safe, if available, while you are out of your room.  As crazy as it may seem, to avoid leaving the hotel room without it, consider locking one of your uniform shoes with the LINK device in the safe.
  • Place your room key and your flashlight at your bedside and keep in mind that we stay in some areas subject to earthquakes and tornadoes.  Always review available hotel emergency procedures.
  • Verify with the front desk the identity of anyone at your room door, including room service, before allowing them inside.
  • Always have identification with you when you leave the hotel and try not to leave alone.
  • If you do leave the hotel alone, we recommend that you alert at least one other crew member

Addressing our layover safety and security is the number one priority for our United MEC Hotel and Transportation Committee.  If you experience an incident that compromises your safety, be sure to document the event by visiting the forms page located on our website. Reporting any issues allows AFA to have the necessary data to address and resolve any situation as soon as possible.  Remember, if necessary contact the local authorities for any assistance.

Unaccompanied Minor (UMNR) Reminder for Summer Season

School is out for summer, and we can expect a simultaneous rise in UMNR (Unaccompanied Minor) travel.  While travelling alone can be stressful for some UMNRs, Flight Attendants are the link to providing our youngest passengers with the best possible travel experience. As a work group, we are exceptionally well equipped to decrease their anxiety, ensure a positive travel experience, and ultimately, foster a life-long love of air travel.

To parents and families who entrust their children to our airline and ultimately us for their safe passage to and from summer adventure spots, there is an expectation that we are specialists in this area and that we are competent and deserving of the confidence they have placed in us.

In setting the policies and procedures by which our airline agrees to accept children for travel, Inflight has developed the CARE acronym as both a reminder of our responsibilities and a guide on how to best ensure those are completed. CARE reminds us to Communicate, Accommodate, Remind and Escort our UMNRs.  In addition, the My Flight App provides specific information about UMNRs on a particular flight to help us meet these expectations.

Keep in mind the following procedures:

  • Use the UMNR Tracker App to scan their wristband when the UMNR arrives onboard and after they are seated and briefed.  The App allows us to monitor the UMNRs journey and is an excellent resource for parents and Flight Attendants.
  • As a reminder, minors aged 15-17 travel as adults and are not eligible for the UMNR program.  They are identified as YPTA (Young Passenger Traveling Alone) in your My Flight App.  YPTA do not require any special assistance from Flight Attendants and are identified so that Airport Ops personnel can help them in the event of irregular operations.
  • Conduct an individual safety briefing and remind the UMNR that you will escort them off the plane upon landing.
  • UMNRs preferred seating is an aisle seat in the last three rows of the United Economy cabin.  Many of our UMNRs are themselves “Premier” customers who may travel in the Premium cabins or Economy plus.  Additionally, while the maximum number of UMNRs per flight is six (6), you may have more than six on a given flight with the approval of Customer Service Solutions.  UMNR space available travelers may also be on the aircraft and may be assigned any seat in the economy cabin.  
  • Check on UMNRs throughout the flight and while doing so remind them of the importance of remaining seated on arrival until they are escorted off the aircraft or specifically instructed to come forward.
  • Introduce the UMNR to Flight Attendants seated at or adjacent to the boarding door of the aircraft.  This is especially important when more than one Flight Attendant is assigned a cabin jumpseat adjacent to the aircraft door through which boarding and disembarking occur.  This is an added measure, an opportunity for a double check, which helps in the event a UMNR does not remain seated and becomes mingled in the passenger flow off the aircraft. 
  • Remind the CSR on arrival that we have a terminating UMNR and that it will be necessary for the transfer of custody to occur. Also, ensure the United representative meeting the flight scans the wristband using the UMNR Tracker App.

Complete information on the handling of UMNRs can be found in your eFAOM> SOP > CHILDREN > UNACCOMPANIED MINOR (UMNR)

2021 Airline Quality Rating Report

The 31st annual Airline Quality Rating has been released by Wichita State University. Many of the metrics measured through this reporting program are beyond our control in Inflight.  However, if you are interested in viewing the AQR report, you may do so here

Louisiana Severe Storms, Tornadoes, and Flooding & AFA Disaster Relief

We know that disasters can change lives forever. While we can’t stop destructive events from happening, we can, as a Union, assist our members with their recovery. AFA established the Disaster Relief Fund after September 11th to help our members whose lives were placed in harm’s way.  AFA members and retirees, whose primary residences are in the counties listed on the FEMA website are eligible for $200.00 from the AFA-CWA Disaster Relief Fund.  It is a gift made possible by the generosity of your fellow union sisters and brothers with AFA. 

Applying for Disaster Relief Funds

If you would like to apply for AFA-CWA Disaster Relief Funds, visit www.afacwa.org/drf and download the Disaster Relief Fund Application.  There are a few ways of submitting your application including:

  • Email the application information to lfoster@afanet.org or  
  • Fax the completed application to 301-253-2790.  A cover sheet is not necessary or
  • Phone in the application information to 1-800-424-2406. 

Contributing to the AFA Disaster Relief Fund

If you wish to make a contribution either by check or electronic payment, please visit www.afacwa.org/drf for more information on donating.

Get Vaxxed, Wear a Mask, Come Fly With Us

As travel ramps up, it's more important than ever that we help instill confidence in the safety of aviation. Since the first vaccines were approved, our union advocated for Flight Attendants to be included with other essential workers in priority groups for voluntary access. Now the vaccine is available for adults in the U.S. and children 12 and older.

We have reached a pivotal moment in the pandemic – the new normal is on the horizon. Getting vaccinated as quickly as possible is our path out of this crisis (and on our planes we also help keep the virus in check with the mask mandate through September.). Let’s get ourselves, more of our friends, families, and neighbors vaccinated during this National Month of Action leading up to July 4th.

Have you been vaccinated? Take the Flight Attendant Vaccine Survey.

Still need to get a shot? Go to vaccines.gov to find a location near you, then call or visit their website to make an appointment and get vaxxed!

We are the face of aviation for passengers. Demand continues to return as vaccinations expand, and cases drop. Increased vaccination rates will also help restore business and international travel, which is critical for the long-term recovery of our industry. Get a few of our “I’m Vaccinated!” stickers and wear them on your flight or in your community.

Get vaxxed and let’s fly to our new normal!

Keep your FAA Airmen Certificate Card Current

Flight Attendants are required to keep their FAA Airmen Certificate Card updated with their current name, address, citizenship, and gender.  If you move, you should notify the FAA within thirty (30) days of an address change.

Although your FAA Certificate Card is not a required duty item, as Safety Professionals, it is always a good idea to carry it with you. If requested, Flight Attendants must present their Certificate Card to the FAA, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), or other applicable agencies within fifteen (15) days after the date of request for proof of certification.

To update your address or obtain a replacement Airmen Certificate Card:

  1. Go to www.faa.gov and click on the “License and Certificate” tab.
  2. Once on that page, locate the “Airmen Online Services” link and
  3. Once there, log in to “Replace an Airmen Certificate”

The website contains an address for requesting a replacement by mail, but that process is expected to take anywhere from 4 – 6 weeks, while the online process is expected to take 7-10 days for processing.  Additionally, you may contact the FAA for Airmen Certification Information & Assistance at (866) 878-2498.

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

 

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