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Changes Affecting Reserve Schedules

Date: August 13, 2021


Today’s Inflight Services edition of In the Know addresses questions related to September Reserve schedules system-wide and is responsive to the advocacy of AFA for management to communicate to Flight Attendants about the changes they are seeing in Reserve schedules.

Within the context of ongoing challenges brought about by severe weather, runway construction at certain locations and general irregular operations, United management reports an increase in absence trends that have impacted overall Reserve coverage. 

In response, United management has implemented changes to the Reserve coverage parameters that are used by Local Schedule Committees when submitting Reserve schedule recommendations.   Under the terms of the Contract, Local Schedule Committees are obligated to submit recommendations meeting these coverage requirements.  Central Schedule Committee has advocated for changes to the parameters being used to develop these Reserve schedules in order to address Flight Attendant quality of life issues.

It should be noted upfront that the parameters used to develop the September Reserve schedules that were published were improved through discussion with the Managing Director of Crew Planning, Scheduling and Administration.   Working with his Staff, coverage parameters were revised to be responsive to our advocacy on behalf of Flight Attendants and address quality of life issue for the Membership.

Based on these revised coverage requirements, management advises, for your planning purposes, that we will see the following changes to Reserve schedules:

  • Higher coverage requirements on weekends which translates into fewer Reserve schedules having weekends off
  • Reduction in 5- and 6- day Reserve availability patterns as a means of increasing weekend coverage
  • Reserve schedules will all have the minimum 12 days off for September
  • Expect continuing adjustments to the number of days offered each month in the future
  • Because of the heightened demand on Reserve resources, there is an increased likelihood of being assigned to fly on scheduled days of availability
  • Consistent with the Contract, Reserve move-up lines will continue to be built to the extent the company can maintain adequate Reserve coverage.

In addition to the proactive work of our Union Schedule Committees, our MEC Reserve Committee has had ongoing conversations with Crew Scheduling management about the changes that we are seeing to Reserve schedules and how these changes are impacting Flight Attendants.  While we cannot argue with management about the need for Reserves to be available to cover open trips resulting from irregularities, Flight Attendants must have some level of predictability in the selection of Reserve schedules and some control over the days on which they work and provide this coverage. 

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