AFA Debrief: September 07, 2021
September 7, 2021
United Updates Corporate Mask Policy
In United’s Safety Alert, United management outlines the corporate mask policy, effective as of September 7, 2021. This alert replaces all previously published versions. This alert, which is available from Flying Together, outlines the Mask Policy for airport locations, non-airport locations and detail information on approved face coverings/masks.
Of specific note for Flight Attendants, this policy update specifically states “Gaiter style face coverings are not permitted to be worn by Flight Attendants.”
Because some of the information contained in the alert may be considered confidential, you may view the full publication on Flying Together.
Check COVID-19 Vaccination Status on Flying Together – Vaccine Pass from Apps
As we begin the month of September many Members are working to complete the required COVID-19 vaccination status required by United. All Flight Attendants without an approved medical or religious exemption are required to be vaccinated and upload proof of vaccination via their vaccine card by September 27, 2021.
We encourage all Member to review their submission of vaccination documentation on Flying Together to ensure compliance with the company vaccination directive; that is, to obtain the vaccine according to the manufacturer’s recommended protocol and upload vaccination documentation.
To check you have properly uploaded your vaccine card: Log in to Flying
Together then Select the “APPS” Tiles in the upper right-hand corner. Select Vacc Pass from the drop-down menu. The system response will be a new screen displaying your company vaccination status. A screen with a check mark in a green band is an affirmative indication that your COVID-19 vaccination records are in order.
If you have submitted all of your documentation and do not receive a response screen indicating “Fully Vaccinated Status” contact Help Hub for assistance to correct or address any issues affecting your documentation.
We recommend that you keep copies of all correspondence with company representatives, including screen shots, for your records. This will assist in verifying any technical issues are properly documented to avoid any issues associated with a failure to comply with company policy.
Required COVID-19 Testing Compensation and Flight Cancellations
Flight Attendants with assignments to certain international destinations may be required to submit to COVID-19 pre-departure testing. Associated with this testing requirement is additional pay, which is intended to recognize this supplemental requirement and the associated early report time needed to complete the testing procedures.
When a situation arises causing the trip requiring pre-departure testing to be cancelled leading to reassignment or when drafting occurs, any completed testing compensation will still be paid.
Because so many of the pay components for which we receive compensation are applied automatically to our Pay Registers, we have come to expect to see these components posted almost instantaneously. For COVID-19 pre-departure testing pay, this is not the case. However, there is no need to submit a Help Hub case right after you finish your trip in requesting this pre-departure testing pay. Depending on the timing of when you are tested, you may see the pay closer to the date the report listing those eligible for the pay is sent to Crew Pay, but you will typically see it posted within the week.
If, however, your pre-departure pay for the prior month does not appear before pay close (4th business day of the following month), you should reach out to Crew Pay via Help Hub (Service Request, Pay Register/Payable Hours Inquiry), to resolve the missing pay component to ensure the pay is included in your paycheck.
Safety Demonstration - Compliance with FARs
Throughout the course of our workday we operate within the confines of Federal Aviation Regulations always ensuring the safety of our passengers and fellow crewmembers. We work hard to comply with all Federal Aviation Regulations working within the SOPs and service standards of United.
One of our duties includes the required Safety Demonstration for all passengers either shown via the video system installed on the aircraft or through a live demonstration performed by the working crew.
In 2019, United changed their policy with regard to the requirement for working crew members to stand in the aisle in their assigned positions during the video of the safety presentation. This was done to ensure Flight Attendants were positioned at or near their assigned exit should the need for an emergency evacuation become necessary without obstructing a passenger’s view of the video monitors.
Cabin safety checks are always required following the safety video. Doing so ensures cabin readiness and provides passengers with the opportunity to ask questions regarding the safety demonstration or address any other safety concern. Starting the safety demonstration video as soon as possible after door closure is essential. Doing so ensures adequate time to complete the demonstration and conduct an effective cabin check before takeoff.
While we are no longer required to stand in the aisle during the taxi, our focus should be on safety related matters only and following conclusion of the video demonstration, we are required to pass through the cabin to complete these safety checks.
We understand that boarding can be a hectic process and that not all service preparation may be completed, especially in those circumstances where quick turns are involved. Any additional service preparations, such as meal orders, etc., can be accomplished once in flight.
If you find yourself pressed for time to adequately complete the company’s requested service standards due to quick turn boarding or other limitations such as minimum crew, please follow proper reporting procedures by filing an IOR (Irregular Operations Report). If you have a safety concern, regulatory or company SOP violation, filing an ISAP (Inflight Safety Action Report), which allows Members to self-disclose in an environment with protective provisions, would be appropriate.
For more information please contact your Local Safety Representatives.
Fatigue Risk Management Program (FRMP) CBT and Next Steps
For those Members who have either started or completed the second trimester CBT training, you may likely have participated in United’s Training on Fatigue
Flight Attendants are no strangers to the risk of fatigue not only throughout the course of our workday but when we arrive home after completion of a trip.
While we are all responsible for taking the necessary steps to ensure we take advantage of every opportunity for rest in order to mitigate the potential for fatigue while on duty, Flight Attendants also have a responsibility to understand the parameters of the Fatigue Risk Management Program (FRMP). It’s true - some situations are out of our control. It is important that when you experience fatigue and fatigue related events to promptly report them through the Flight Attendant Fatigue Risk Management Program (FA-FRMP).
Benefits of the FRMP include:
- A new, easy-to-use confidential fatigue reporting tool called Flight Attendant Fatigue Report (FAFR) that allows Flight Attendants to proactively identify and report fatigue and ask questions
- Updated Flight Attendant training to reflect inclusion of information on and the existence of this enhanced program
- Introduction of the Fatigue Review Committee (FRC), which is tasked with identifying the root cause for each reported instance of fatigue by ensuring that all policies and procedures are adhered to in reviewing and acting on reported fatigue events
- Data analysis and tracking capabilities that allow for a scientific understanding of fatigue cases and to determine the root causes of fatigue.
We encourage everyone to review the varying types of fatigue, how they are included in the new program and, most importantly, why these events should be reported. Your reports will help to generate the data necessary to help reduce fatigue incidents while, at the same time, creating a safer and healthier work environment for all of us.
Should it become necessary for you to appropriately use the provisions of the FRMP, fatigue calls are placed directly with Crew Scheduling and not the FAST where sick calls are traditionally placed.
Reminder COVID-19 Vaccine Card Required: September 27, 2021
As we move ever closer to the date by which vaccinations for COVID-19 are required, and Flight Attendants continue to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in compliance with this policy, we remind everyone of the upcoming addition of the vaccine card to our list of required duty items.
Effective September 27, 2021, all U.S. based employees including those from Guam and Puerto Rico are required to have uploaded their vaccination records on Flying Together. It should be noted, effective this same date, COVID-19 vaccination cards will be required duty items for all Flight Attendants regardless of your base or destination.
We also want to acknowledge that we’ve received a number of questions asking if laminating vaccine cards is permissible. Once you have laminated the vaccination card, any booster information cannot then be recorded on that card. You will likely be required to obtain a new vaccination card if the booster becomes required and you’ve laminated your vaccination record. Any subsequent boosters are required as part of United’s Policy.
Also, If you have lost or misplaced your vaccination card and require a replacement, you should contact your vaccine provider for more information.
If you are not in possession of the original COVID-19 vaccination card as you prepare to travel to any of the countries currently requiring the vaccination record, you must contact Crew Scheduling to be removed from the pairing, without pay.
For the most up to date information about country specific entry requirements, go to Flying Together >> Our Airline >> COVID-19 (Coronavirus) > Crew Travel Restrictions.
If you have additional questions, please contact your Local Council office for assistance.
Fall 2021 Third Trimester CBT Launched
The 2021 Third Trimester CBT is now available and is required to be completed by, October 30, 2021 at 2359 Central Standard Time.
Log into TakeOff Learning on Flying Together and select Continuing Qualifications (CQ) 2021 Trimester 3.
Flight Attendants are compensated for completing the requirement based on the contractual provisions in Section 11.B.2. of our Contract.
Home study and Computer Based Training (CBT) assignments shall each be paid one-hour (1:00) flight time pay and credit for every three hours (3:00) of home study or training, prorated, based on reasonable times established by the Company to complete the training. In no case shall Flight Attendants receive less than one hour (1:00) of training pay. CBT Training shall be paid in the month during which training is completed.
Note: Flight Attendants on Reserve shall receive the flight time pay and credit value of the training pairing toward their monthly line value.
Additionally, once a Flight Attendant has completed CQ, credited compensation will be posted as Add Pay by the end of the month in which the CBT is completed. Discrepancies or missing compensation can be reported by filing a pay claim via Help Hub.
Flight 93 Memorial Shanksville Attendance
In the wake of the terrorist attacks that took the lives of so many, including our Sisters and Brothers, twenty years ago, we came together and made a promise to Never Forget. It is a promise we hold in our hearts as aviation’s First Responders, living up to those words every day.
In remembrance of the lives lost on September 11th we invite Members to attend the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania to stand in honor of our Sisters, Brothers and the passengers lost to us on that fateful day.
Due to this being the twentieth remembrance, the National Park Service has advised AFA that they are anticipating larger crowds than in years past. Members who are driving on their own should be prepared to arrive early to avoid traffic and delays at security check points. In addition, the National Park Service will not be opening the park to the general public until approximately 10:45 am allowing for a private ceremony for the family members of those who perished that day in 2001.
AFA, alongside ALPA, APA, APFA and the CAUSE foundation, will hold a separate ceremony with the 9/11 Honor Guard once the park opens including the laying of a memorial wreath and flowers. Members in attendance are invited to join us approximately 45 minutes after the park opens to the general public. While attending in uniform is not required, if possible, we ask that Members, retired and active, wear their uniform. Retired uniforms are acceptable in addition to currently issued pieces.
The National Park is large and depending on the parking location a considerable amount of walking can be expected. The National Park Service is requiring those in attendance wear masks to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
There is no right or wrong way to honor our lost Sisters and Brothers. Whether you choose to attend a memorial, fly in their honor, or spend the day in a way meaningful to you we all stand together in their memory.
If you or someone you know struggling with the upcoming 9/11 anniversary, please know AFA EAP is available to offer confidential support. AFA EAP International Help Line: 1-800-424-2406
Reminders and Dates:
Sep 10 - Ganesh Chaturthi Hindu Holiday
Sep 11 - First Responders Day
Sep 27 – Last Day to Receive the J & J Vaccine
Sep 27 – Vaccination Record Becomes Required Duty Item for All Flight Attendants