Home > News > AFA DEBRIEF: August 21, 2021 SPECIAL EDITION


Date: August 21, 2021

The Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) program is United’s commitment to support the United States Department of Defense during emergencies when the need for airlift exceeds the capability of military aircraft.  This is work that is done by Flight Attendants on the System Seniority List and Letter of Agreement #8 (LOA#8) provides for the rates of compensation, rules and working conditions with respect to the CRAF operations.

From the onset, we want to ensure that we are clear this is different flying than that which is conducted under the AMC provisions of our Contract.  AMC flying is Military Charter flying which is done on an ongoing basis during peace time.  

Under our Contract, the CRAF operation includes all flight operations conducted in accordance with the agreement between United Airlines and the Department of Defense but shall not include the Company’s certificated service or commercial charter service of any other government operation.

A System volunteer list will be bid and awarded and will be the recognized CRAF List until replaced as a result of any later system bid.  

Since the merger of our work groups in October 2016, there has not been an active CRAF list bid.  In order for United to be prepared in the event the United States Department of Defense advises United Airlines CRAF has been activated, bidding for CRAF operations must be undertaken immediately and over a very abbreviated time period. 

All Flight Attendants, regardless of status as a lineholder or reserve, are eligible to submit a bid for placement on the CRAF list. 

The CRAF bid will open at 1200 Central Time on August 21 and will close at 1200 Central Time on August 23.

To submit a bid, go to CCS >> Bidding >> CRAF List. 

It seems that there may be some confusion over the question about Geneva Convention Cards.  We should be clear that Geneva Convention Cards are not required in order to bid for or be awarded a position on the CRAF list.  These cards are the property of the US government.  While pmUA Flight Attendants at one time were issued these cards, there was a subsequent requirement to the return those cards.  If you don’t have a Geneva Convention Card or don’t know what it is, just answer “no” to the question.  Again, it will not prohibit you from being included on the CRAF list.

It should be noted, once on the CRAF list after the bid is closed, Flight Attendants will be able to remove their names from the CRAF list, if desired, however 30 days’ notice must be provided.

Shortly we will have additional information on CRAF compensation, rules and work conditions available for your review.   In the meantime, refer to Letter of Agreement #8 in our Contract for additional information.


Additional Information on the CRAF List development:

The size of the active CRAF list will be determined by the Company after consultation with AFA


If there are insufficient volunteers for the list the Company may assign Flight Attendants in inverse order of system seniority.


Language Qualified positions will not be assigned to CRAF trip pairings


Flight assignments for FSL positions (as designated) will be filled from among the FSLs on the CRAF list, if available. If there are insufficient volunteers with FSL qualifications, assignment of FSL positions will be filled from among Flight
Attendants assigned the CRAF pairing.

The Company shall facilitate the procurement of the appropriate security clearances and restricted area identification, including, but not limited to the Geneva Convention Identity Card (DD Form 489) as required by the appropriate Government authority for all Flight Attendants awarded a CRAF bid . Flight Attendants shall be provided
any necessary intelligence/safe-passage briefings prior to operating any applicable CRAF trip.

Flight Assignments
After establishing the active CRAF list, trip pairing assignments will initially be made on the basis of seniority and availability. Thereafter, assignments will be made on a FIFO availability basis.


Before bypassing a Flight Attendant, the Company will make:

  • Two (2) calls to the Flight Attendant’s permanent or alternate number within a ten (10) hour period for assignments more than seventy-two (72) hours in advance; or
  • Two (2) calls within a five (5) hour period for assignments seventy-two (72) hours or less in advance.



A Flight Attendant may refuse no more than one CRAF assignment in a calendar quarter. A second refusal in a quarter will result in the Flight Attendant’s removal from the CRAF list



The Company may draft in inverse seniority order from the active CRAF list if necessary to cover a CRAF trip pairing. If insufficient coverage still exists, the Company may then draft in seniority order from the remainder of the CRAF
volunteer list.


Removing Name from CRAF List

A Flight Attendant may remove her/his name from the System CRAF list with thirty (30) days’ written notice to the Company.

NRPS Travel to Origination Point

The Company will provide NRPS must ride transportation on the Company’s system to position a Flight Attendant to and from the originating point of a CRAF trip pairing.


Pay and expenses will be based on required check-in to debriefing for the trip pairing, except that the Company will provide a hotel before and/or after a trip pairing where legality rules would require for Flight Attendants not assigned to the Domicile from which the trip pairing originates.


When covering multiple trip pairings on a daily basis, the Company may assign Flight Attendants from the active list in a manner which will minimize positioning.


The provisions concerning contacting Flight Attendants during legal rest periods contained in Section 6 .Z .3 . of the Agreement will apply except in emergencies.

Flight Time and Legalities

Sections 6.L ., O., P.2 ., R., T., and W. will apply to Flight Attendants assigned a CRAF trip pairing.


Notwithstanding above Paragraph 4.a., scheduled CRAF trip pairings may exceed the limitations provisions of Section 6.T . of the Agreement, and if so, Flight Attendants will receive additional pay at their regular rate for each hour or portion of an hour actually on duty in excess of the hours of Section 6.T . of the Agreement, in accordance with Section 6.Y.2 . and 3. Scheduling will apply the override described
above based on scheduled duty time . Such compensation is for pay purposes only and may not be used to offset any other guarantees.


CRAF trip pairings may be constructed with a report time up to ninety (90) minutes earlier than the normal check-in time for that aircraft type. In the event that the Company increases scheduled check-in time(s), it shall make increases in five-minute (0:05) increments up to a maximum increase of ninety (90) minutes. Flight Attendants shall be paid for the increased time in accordance with Section 6.R.6 .

Line Guarantee
In the application of Section 6.I. of the Agreement, when assigned a CRAF trip pairing, the monthly guarantee for a Lineholder will reflect the greater value of the CRAF trip pairing flown or the scheduled trip pairing(s) necessary to be dropped.


If a CRAF trip pairing cancels prior to the departure of its first segment, a Lineholder Flight Attendant will cover any trip pairing(s) she/he dropped in order to fly the CRAF trip pairing. If the dropped trip pairing(s) is no longer available, the Lineholder will be subject to Section 7.Q. reassignment(s) as applicable.

Flight Attendants on the CRAF operation will receive expenses per Section 5.A.1.b. of the Agreement.

Crew meals and drinking water will be provided on all international segments. Meals will not be used to reduce the hourly expense allowances and will be at least equal in quality as those provided for passengers, or for pilots where there are no passengers.

When meals, lodging, or transportation are not provided by the Company, Flight Attendants on the CRAF Operation shall be reimbursed for such expenses in accordance with Section 5 of the Agreement.

Flight Attendants assigned to a CRAF trip pairing shall be paid rates of compensation as stipulated in Section 4.A. of the Basic Agreement. In addition, Flight Attendants will receive a premium of $5 .00 per hour for all CRAF trip pairings except for those trip pairings flown wholly within the United States.

Flight Attendants on the CRAF list will maintain their current vacation schedule and at their current rates of pay.


A Flight Attendant who flies one or more CRAF trip pairings covering sixteen (16) or more days in a given month will receive credit for an additional two and one-half (2 ½) vacation days for each such month to be taken the following year. Days off between consecutive CRAF trips will count as assigned CRAF days for this purpose.

A Flight Attendant assigned to a CRAF trip pairing will be covered by the insurance and pay continuation benefits prescribed under Section 10 (AMC), Paragraphs C ., D ., E ., F ., and G ., and Section 27 (Missing, Interned, Hostage or Prisoner
of War) of the Agreement . In addition, except as modified by this Paragraph, such Flight Attendant shall continue to be covered by the Company’s Group Insurance program.

Essential Operations
Flight Attendants will continue to fly any CRAF flight deemed essential to the national defense, provided such flights are solely military in nature and carry cargo composed entirely of military requirements even though, at the time such military
flights are necessary, the Flight Attendants have for any reason withdrawn from regular airline service.


a. To assure the movement of a particular flight under such circumstances, the Union will require certification by an appropriate Company official designated by the Company that such flight is in accordance with the specifications set forth in this Paragraph 10. This certification shall be provided prior to movement of the flight where feasible, or, where not feasible, promptly thereafter.


b. Flight Attendants who fly such military traffic will not lose any benefits accruing to other Flight Attendants which they would otherwise have received upon settlement of an unresolved labor dispute.

The Company agrees to meet with the Union to resolve unanticipated issues as may arise during the CRAF operation.
If requested by the Union, such discussions will include the Senior Vice President Inflight or his/her designee .

Maximum Duty Time

The maximum scheduled and actual duty times of Section 6.T. may be extended by the Company as necessary up to the FAR duty time maximums .


On Board Rest
A Flight Attendant will be provided at least two (2) hours on board rest for any combination of flight segments in a duty period which exceed the Section 6 .T . maximums.

Staffing levels will be augmented above FAA minimums in accordance with FARs based on scheduled duty time.

Per Diem
In addition to the expenses provided in Paragraph 6 above, per diem will be provided from the Flight Attendant’s home Domicile until the Flight Attendant returns to the home Domicile for all positioning segments for CRAF trip pairings .




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