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Cabin Jumpseat (CJA) Etiquette

Date: July 27, 2021

Section 3.A. of our Contract provides Flight Attendants with the Contractual right to use the Cabin Jumpseat Authority (CJA) consistent with company policy. In fact, to enable our Members to have as many options (and flexibility) as possible when utilizing their travel benefits, Flight Attendants may list for both non-revenue standby and cabin jumpseat authority (CJA) at the same time, for the same flight.

Passenger volumes are returning to levels exceeding those that existed pre-pandemic.  All of us know that non-revenue travel in a passenger seat has been difficult, at best, for Flight Attendants commuting to work as well as when traveling for pleasure. Regardless of the reason we are riding the jumpseat, we recognize it can quickly become cramped and crowded in the galleys. The additional people in the galley can make it difficult for the working crew to maneuver while in preparation for the service. Because we recognize the need to work around each other can add to the frustration of working an already full flight, we all work to find the best way to be as far “out of the way” as possible.  We share the work space while we remain as close as possible to our assigned jumpseat in order to protect ourselves in the event of unexpected turbulence.

Keeping all of this in mind, let’s consider what we can do to ensure we’re all doing our best to reduce levels of frustration for everyone:

  1. In a situation filled with frustration, keep in mind the best approach is to talk the issues out - respectfully.  If you are unable to resolve the situation, keep in mind, as a CJA, you are required to follow the directions of the working crew.  Unresolved issues should be directed not to management, but to our peer professionals in AFA EAP/Professional Standards.  Always keep in mind, issues referred to management do not always get resolved as one might expect and, often by doing so, we lost control of the situation.
  2. Board the aircraft according to standard customer boarding procedures or as directed by the agent working the flight. Be mindful not to interfere with passenger boarding or any part of the pre-departure process. When you are jumpseating, adherence to all FARs, United policies and carry-on baggage limits is an expectation. Please don’t put the crew in the awkward position of being asked to help you find storage for your bags especially if the crew has already required other customers to check bags because overhead bins are full. 
  3. Upon entering the aircraft, identify yourself as a CJA to the International Purser/Purser and determine at her/his direction which is the next jumpseat number that is to be occupied based on the assigned number of Flight Attendants working the flight. (For verification purposes, jumpseat positions are outlined in our electronic Flight Attendant Operations Manual (eFAOM). 
  4. As a matter of professional courtesy, take a minute to introduce yourself to the flight deck crew to let them know you are on the airplane.  By doing so, you make the flight deck crew aware of all resources available on the aircraft in the event something unexpected happens.  
  5. If you are jumpseating in uniform, keep in mind that you are required to display your Crew ID badge until the aircraft door is closed. 
  6. If you are jumpseating while not in uniform, you are required to display your Crew ID badge anytime seated on a jumpseat for the duration of the flight.
  7. Flight Attendants utilizing the jumpseat may not visit the flight deck.
  8. As a matter of Inflight policy, Crew Rest facilities on the aircraft are intended for the exclusive use of the working crew.  Please don’t put the working crew in the awkward position of having to tell you that you are not able to use the crew rest areas during the flight.
  9. Because you are not a working member of the crew, jumpseating Flight Attendants should not be performing any of the duties of the working crew – either as a favor or to simply help out when the crew is busy. Examples include arming/disarming doors, setting up galleys, briefing exit rows or any food handling services or meeting passenger requests.
  10. In the event of an emergency situation on the flight, you may be asked to supplement the working crew in the case of an evacuation. While there are limited circumstances under which a CJA can be drafted to work a flight, that action is a crew scheduling function, not the decision that is made by any working member of the crew.

Additional information may be found in your Inflight Policy Manual and questions should be directed to your Local Council Office.

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