Home > News > AFA DEBRIEF: September 22, 2021

AFA DEBRIEF: September 22, 2021

Date: September 22, 2021

AFA Debrief – September 22, 2021

  • United Expands Vaccination Opportunities
  • Verify your Vaccine Card Upload on Flying Together
  • Onboard Tidying Tools and New Inflight Announcement – Flight Attendant Tidying Responsibilities Unchanged
  • Biden Administration to Require Vaccination to Enter the U.S.
  • 30 Minute Crew Rest Domestic and International
  • Updating Your Password on www.unitedafa.org  
  • CQ Attendance Month
  • Alert iOS Link Operating System

United Expands Vaccination Opportunities

This morning, September 22, 2021, United management released information through a statement to employees indicating that more than 97% of U.S. employees, excluding the small number of employees who sought a Reasonable Accommodation exemption, have been vaccinated as we approach the September 27, 2021, deadline.

Of importance, addressing those who are attempting to become vaccinated and who are having difficulty locating the single dose J & J vaccine, the company is creating an additional opportunity to secure the first dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine and to upload information on your first shot to Flying Together by September 27, 2021 with a follow-on requirement that you must be fully vaccinated by October 31, 2021.

United has also reiterated, if you have not received and reported at least one shot or have not been granted an accommodation extension, the separation process may begin as early as September 28, 2021.


Verify your Vaccine Card Upload on Flying Together

The September 27, 2021, deadline is fast approaching. Company policy requires all Flight Attendants without an approved medical or religious accommodation to be vaccinated and to upload proof of such vaccination, which is their vaccine card, by September 27, 2021.

To check your current status: Log in to Flying Together then Select the “APPS” Tiles in the upper right-hand corner.  Select Vaccine 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 the indication that your COVID-19 vaccination records have been successfully uploaded.


Onboard Tidying Tools and New Inflight Announcement – Flight Attendant Tidying Responsibilities Unchanged

While a recent Inflight Services Weekly (ISW) article announced an expansion in the types of “tidying tools” provisioned onboard the aircraft, there has been no change to Flight Attendant tidying responsibilities.

First and foremost, we have never been required to clean the aircraft, and our Contract language supports this understanding. Our Contractual tidying requirements are defined in Section 3.Y. of the Contract and in Chapter One of the Inflight Policies and Procedures Manual. Throughout the flight, we are required to restock supplies, tidy lavatories, and pick up newspapers and visible litter.    

Our responsibilities in the lavatory include wiping up standing water on the counter, restocking supplies, picking up loose paper towels, and ensuring the trash flap is closed.  We do not wipe up liquid on the floor, disinfect flush buttons, door handles, toilets or other commonly touched surfaces; that is cleaning.

In our discussions with management related to the provisioning of the equipment and its use, we also expressed concern about the new announcement in the eFAAB soliciting feedback on untidy lavatories. Very specifically, we identified the likelihood that this announcement may create unrealistic passenger expectations as it pertains to the scope of Flight Attendant responsibilities.   For example, should a passenger inform a Flight Attendant that a lavatory “needs attention” and that “attention” requires intervention that would extend beyond the scope of our traditional tidying duties, there could be a resultant, unrealistic expectation that Flight Attendants will clean the lavatory.  It might even result in an entirely inaccurate perception the Flight Attendants did not address the issue. Management understood our concern and reiterated the procedure to follow if the lavatory requires attention outside our area of responsibility; that is to remove the lavatory from service.

Rest assured, our tidying duties have not changed, and the company is simply provisioning a “tidy kit” that contain plastic tongs and a dustpan, on all aircraft.

Please contact your Local Council to report any issues you may encounter related to the tidy kits or feedback you may have on the new announcement.


Biden Administration to Require Vaccination to Enter U.S.

On Tuesday, the Biden Administration made an announcement that they will begin lifting the current international travel ban currently in place for fully vaccinated individuals. Foreign travelers will need to show proof of vaccination prior to boarding their flight and a negative test for coronavirus within three days of travel to the US. The ban will be lifted beginning in November of 2021.

We all know that as a major International Airline our success weighs heavily on the return of international tourism and business travel. The return of vaccinated tourism allows us to continue doing the career we love while minimizing the impact and spread of Covid-19 and its variants.

We have seen first-hand how difficult the recovery for our industry has been. After over a year of travel restrictions in place we can all only hope this will be a turning point as a return of international travel. Fully vaccinated international travelers will not be required to quarantine on arrival into the U.S.


30 Minute Crew Rest Domestic and International

As Safety professionals we know the importance of being well rested and alert in the performance of our job duties. Taking advantage of every opportunity for rest is vital in accomplishing this important objective. One of the ways we continue to stay rested throughout the course of our workday is through our negotiated Contractual Crew Rest breaks.

In accordance with Sections 3.DD.1. & 2. of our Contract, Flight Attendants are allowed a Contractual crew rest break of 30 minutes on both Domestic and International Flights under the following circumstances:

Domestic: On scheduled flight segments departing between 2100-0359 on-board rest shall be as follows:

Fifteen (15) minutes on scheduled segments greater than 4:59 and less than seven (7:00).

Thirty (30) minutes on scheduled, non-stop flight segments of 7:00 and less than 8:00.

International: On international flight segments greater than 7:00 and less than 8:00, Flight Attendants shall be permitted a thirty (30) minute rest.

In the application of these stated parameters, when an aisle customer seat is unavailable, Flight Attendant shall use the jumpseat.

Brief with the assigned CSR at the departure gate prior to the start of the boarding process to verify that designated Crew Rest seats, where appropriate, have been properly allocated and have not been inadvertently used to accommodate passengers. This coordination is the best way to ensure our Contractual on-board rest is utilized.

As a clarification of the above onboard rest provisions, Section 3.DD.5. does not apply to the 30-minute on-board rest. To be eligible for the sleeper seats as a replacement for an inoperative Crew Rest area, the flight must be scheduled over eight (8) hours.


Updating Your Password on www.unitedafa.org  

Our United MEC Website offers information and support for Members across our Union. Our website is your one stop shop at which you will find the latest updates about our industry, current issues facing our profession, and matters related to our Contract.

In addition to providing contact information for our Union leadership and Local Councils there are educational support materials, areas where our members can file reports including LEC Worksheets, Hotel and Transportations matters, General Incidents, Marginal Staffing Reports, Professional Standards and Safety reports.

Because some of the information related to our work at United should not be subject to review and commented upon by the public, our website restricts access to information such as our Letters of Agreement, MEC Meeting information and other career specific information related to our work.

To ensure you have access to the secure area of our website, all Members are encouraged to create an Account on www.unitedafa.org - the official United MEC website. You will need your Employee Number, your Inflight Seniority date and your Birth Date. Your Inflight Seniority date is your “bid date.”  If you are unsure of your seniority date, look for your bidding seniority on CCS > Staffing > Staffing Report > Emp ID “employee number, with the u” > Submit > Bid Date information.

It is important to note that Members frequently having issues creating or updating their secure information are using an out-of-date Inflight Seniority date. Your Inflight Seniority date is the same as your “bid date.” To find your current hire date information log on to Flying Together. If you are unsure of your seniority date, look for your bidding seniority on CCS > Staffing > Staffing Report > Emp ID “employee number, with the u” > Submit > Bid Date information.

In creating your account, you will be prompted to create and establish a unique and secure password in addition to a security question for verification purposes to be used later in the event you forget your password.

Once you have completed the registration steps you will have access to the secure areas of the website where access is limited ONLY to Members. If you have questions or have trouble in setting up your account, please contact your Local Council Representative for additional direction.


CQ Attendance Month

In recent weeks as the company has endeavored to balance their training liability at all training locations system-wide, you may recall that certain Members received communication instructing them to rebid their assigned recurrent emergency training (CQ) month.

Following that rebid, we have heard from a number of our members there is confusion on when and where they can review their currently assigned (awarded) recurrent training (CQ) month. To view your training “due” month on the Crew Communication System (CCS), log into CCS and:

  • Select the drop-down arrow next to your name in the upper right-hand corner of the screen,
  • Next click on the “My Information” menu option. A new screen will populate with a drop-down arrow next to “Employee information”.
  • Select the option for “Qualifications” from the menu on the left-hand side of the screen. The screen will display all your current active qualifications including any trainings you have completed.
  • To review your CQ attendance month, select the “Show” icon within the box entitled “FA, General Flight Attendant Qualifications”.
  • Inside the box under the title Flight Attendant Qualification, your due month and your qualification expiration date will be displayed.

Flight Attendants may still attend recurrent training in the month directly following their “due” month. Attending in your grace month does not cause your qualification to lapse. Your grace month is there to provide any necessary flexibility and to minimize any training lapses in the event a Flight Attendant in unable to attend training in their award month.


Alert iOS Link Operating System

United released an Inflight Services Alert on Monday September 20, 2021. Apple recently has launched a new iOS update (iOS 15.0). This has NOT been approved by United Airlines for download.  Installing this update may affect your ability to use certain functionality on the device.   

For Members that have not yet had an opportunity to update their company issued Link device to iOS 14.8, they will now be unable to do as that update is no longer available from Apple because the operating system update change happened so quickly.  In the interim, Members having any “iOS” between iOS 14.6 and iOS 14.8 are considered “in compliance” until further instructions are issued by United as it relates to the download.

Should your company issued Link device update to iOS 15.0 prior to company approval or should you have an older iOS than 14.6, please obtain a Link Loaner from your base.

Read the full alert and current approved iOS/app versions on Flying Together.


Reminders and Dates:

Sep 27 – Last Day to Receive the J & J Vaccine

Sep 27 – Vaccination Record Becomes Required Duty Item for All Flight Attendants

October – Breast Cancer Awareness Month

 

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