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AFA Debrief: October 06, 2022

Date: October 6, 2022

AFA Debrief October 6, 2022

  • Report Hotel and Transportation Issues – Avoid United Voices
  • Vacation 2023 – Reminder:  Election Phase Closes October 15, 2022

Report Hotel and Transportation Issues – Avoid United Voices

When issues occur, our MEC Hotel & Transportation Committee is best prepared to address any concerns or shortcomings when provided the specific details of any incidents.  It is clear to AFA that there are instances where concerns have been reported via company reporting systems, yet those details are not being shared with the MEC Hotel & Transportation Committee to ensure the proper shared oversight contemplated by the contractual hotel selection process.  

As disappointing as it may be to say it, Hotel & Transportation incidents that are not reported via the United MEC website essentially did not happen. Without the specific data being reported using the Union’s reporting system available on www.unitedafa.org, the MEC Hotel Transportation Committee cannot completely address contractual deficiencies.

When these issues are received via the Union’s reporting system, details of the incident are shared with management at United as well as at the hotel to be addressed and deficiencies resolved. It is still regrettable that United management has yet to develop a system whereby reports to the company are consistently and reliably shared with the Union. Conversely, AFA’s system collects and records these issues at each property and effectively provides us with the data we use to address your concerns.

To be clear, we absolutely discourage the use of United Voices. Using United Voices provides management with the exclusive knowledge of the incident. If they fail to acknowledge or follow-up on the issues, in fact, it is as if it never happened. Your experiences are never recorded, and management can (and does) effectively deny there are issues with our contracted hotels.

We understand the frustration with repeatedly reporting the same issues with our layover hotels. However, management is betting that you’ll grow tired of reporting these issues and that we will simply come to accept these problems ultimately reducing the standards that have been negotiated on your behalf.

Also, reporting issues via social media is not an effective way to have your voice heard. We remind Flight Attendants that posting their experiences on social media is not reporting the issue.Your AFA MEC Hotel & Transportation Committee needs the appropriate documentation in order to address your concerns. 

If you have additional questions, please contact your Local Hotel & Transportation Committee for assistance.

Vacation 2023 – Reminder:  Election Phase Closes October 15

Over the entire period of time starting September 25 through December 5, there are a number of activities involving vacation all of which fall into what might best be described in three words: Choose, Bid, Trade.

The (20) twenty-day “Choose” period during which Flight Attendants have the ability to make Elections, which is elect Vacation Buy Back (with an incentive), Defer 7-14 days of vacation into the 401(k) or UK Stakeholder Plan or Elect for paid or unpaid Flex Vacation, starts as of September 25th. 

During this initial phase and prior to making any elections, we strongly recommend that you review your Vacation Accrual Letter for accuracy.  If you have a question about your accrual, contact the Flight Attendant Vacation Team, Monday – Friday from 0800 – 1600 CT at 1 800 FLTLINE (Option 1,9, & 1) or from LHR at 0800-89-6516.  Alternatively, e-mail your questions to FAVactionTeam@united.com with your questions.

Once you have assured you fully understand your vacation accrual, consider whether the following Election options are appropriate for you.

Vacation Buy Back

Vacation days are “sold” back at a rate of three hours and fifteen minutes (3:15) of pay per day plus an incentive payment, which shall be determined and announced prior to the annual vacation bid. 

Annual Vacation Buy Back:

Our Contract provides for a vacation buy back option, which allows a Flight Attendant to take pay in lieu of accrued vacation. Flight Attendants must opt to “sell” at least six (6) full days of accrued vacation and partial days are not eligible. Those participating in the Buy Back program may not participate in the Flex program. 

Vacation days are “sold” back at a rate of three hours and fifteen minutes (3:15) of pay per day plus an incentive payment, which shall be determined and announced prior to the annual vacation bid. For 2023, the incentive rate is 0.1%.

NOTE:  The rate of pay for Vacation buy back is based on your individual rate of pay as of 12/31/21. International Purser and Purser pay overrides are not included in your hourly rate of pay and are not applicable to Vacation Buy Back payments.

Deferred 401(k) Contribution: 

Flight Attendants may elect to contribute a minimum of seven (7) days and a maximum of fourteen (14) days of paid vacation accrued for use in 2023 into their 401(k) Savings Plan account or UK Stakeholder Group Plan. 

Flex Vacation Program 

Flight Attendants may elect to take an additional seven days of FLEX vacation. Flight Attendants taking FLEX vacation will either take the additional seven days as unpaid vacation or elect to have one hour and fifty-four minutes (1:54) pay deducted from their earnings each month to pay for the FLEX vacation week. 

FLEX Period Assignments:

Flight Attendants who opt for paid Flex vacation will have their last seven days of their last awarded vacation period designated as Flex.

Flight Attendants who opt for unpaid Flex vacation will have their first seven days of the first awarded vacation period designated as Flex.

FLEX vacation will be labeled for Flight Attendants in various vacation information screens in CCS as follows:


Regular vacation which will now include paid FLEX vacation days.


Unpaid FLEX vacation days which will continue to be assigned as the first seven (7) vacation days of the 1stvacation period of the vacation year.


Paid out vacation days


Unpaid FLEX vacation days resulting from a trade.

 Flight Attendants having paid FLEX vacation, which will be designated as the last vacation period of the year, are not eligible to defer that FLEX vacation period into the subsequent year as set forth in IRS guidelines.

Additional information is available via our Vacation Microsite on the MEC website.  In addition, the annual Vacation Article by our Central Schedule Committee is available on the Committee home page.


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