Long Hold Times for Calling on Sick Leave
January 11, 2022
We know, first hand, that many of us are experiencing long call wait times when calling on Sick Leave to the same extent as when trying to get through to Crew Scheduling to get our concerns addressed. All of this adversity is a direct result of the increased infection rates due to the Omicron variant not only among Flight Attendants, but among everyone at our company.
While not intending for this to be an excuse, we do need remember that the variant is affecting all departments across the company and, increasingly, those departments on which we rely and interact on a daily basis. Having said this, we know that you need some direction on what to do when you are unable to reach the company to let them know you are not going to be able to take a flight assignment. This is especially important when you are outside the window of being able to use the automated systems to place yourself on sick leave.
When you need to place yourself on sick leave less than 8 hours prior to check-in, and the automated system in CCS is unavailable, you need to place a call to the Flight Attendant Support Team. When you are unwell and these call times become excessive ultimately jeopardizing the on-time departure of the flight to which you are assigned, you can take steps to adequately and responsibly call in sick while, at the same time, ensuring you get the rest you need to return to health and flying.
In those instances where you are unable to reach some at FAST to assist in placing yourself on sick leave after a reasonable amount of time, we remind you that you have various alternatives to notify the company that you will not be available to fly. Consider the following alternatives:
1. Are you able to get through to the Crew Desk? If you are able to get through, advise of your inability to reach someone at FAST to place yourself on sick leave. Explain your concern about not being able to take your flight and your concern to provide adequate time for the crew desk to call out a replacement.
2. Is your call during a period when there is a supervisor available in the base? If so, call the supervisor to advise of the difficulty you are experiencing to enlist their assistance being certain to point out your concern about having a replacement available for departure time.
3. As a last ditch effort, using the menu available from FLTLINE, reach out to the Inflight Duty Manager (IFDM) to request assistance and to alert the company that you will be unable to take your flight assignment.
In every instance where this surge in calls impacts our ability to notify the company of our inability to take a flight assignment, we must advocate for ourselves and act to ensure we are both supporting the operation while receiving the necessary rest to return to health.