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System Reserve Meeting Report - March 2022

Date: March 18, 2022

March 18, 2022

The March System Reserve Meeting with management was held on March 8, 2022, via Microsoft Teams™.

Present for AFA

Present for the Company

Matt Stegehuis, MEC Reserve Committee Chairperson

Tina Austin, Mgr of Inflt Crew Schd Process Qual & Trng

Rene Trujillo, MEC Reserve Committee Vice-Chair

Jill Fox and Matthew McKenna,

Sr Managers of Inflight Crew Operations

Jeff Heisey, MEC Secretary-Treasurer

Mia Corpuz, Director of Inflight Crew Scheduling

Introduction of New Director of Inflight Scheduling

Mia Corpuz was introduced in her new role as Director of Inflight Crew Scheduling. She previously worked with the Crew Schedule Planning team. We were also informed all Scheduling management was officially back in the office as of March 8. We will return to in-person meetings as conditions permit.

Review of March Move-Up Numbers and Expectations for April

Management expected a total of 144 Move-Up lines were estimated across the system. Ultimately 111 were built. The month-over-month reduction from February to March was due to an initially much higher Reserve requirement. Additional move-up lines were awarded at some bases on a limited basis when the requirement for move-up lines dropped once the March bid month began. For April, company models are projecting 226 Move-Up lines, not including the award of Special COLAs.

Reserve Reassignments Following a 4-hour Standby Period

There was a robust discussion regarding the reassignment of Reserves after their 4-hour Standby period has concluded, and how long a Reserve may be asked to “wait” for such a reassignment. Both the company and the Union share the understanding that once a Standby has been given an initial flight assignment they may be reassigned up to the maximum actual duty limitation. However, the company further expressed a view that, similar to a Lineholder, a reassignment may be given within four (4:00) hours of being notified of a lost trip. On this point we had a number of questions.

Improper Scheduler Intervention to Facilitate Trip Pick-up into 24:7 Violation

Management acknowledged a process error when a scheduler manually traded Reserve days off for a Flight Attendant in order to facilitate a day off pick up that would otherwise have violated the 24-in-7 FAR rest requirement. The individual scheduler has been coached. 

Follow-Up: New Base Not Immediately Recognized in CCS When Requesting PD

We followed up with management regarding a reported IT issue whereby the new base of Flight Attendants who have transferred is not recognized in CCS when requesting a “PD” for the first day of the bid month in which the transfer is effective. Management was unable to provide an update at the time of the meeting as they have been unable to recreate the issue. They will continue to follow up with the Automation team.

Follow-Up: Status of ‘Procedure Map’ for Schedulers

We asked management for a status update on their previously proposed “decision tree” designed to assist schedulers when deciding how to release excess Reserves during the 1930 process. We are told these items are still in review. Management is also still working to put together a communication to educate Flight Attendants regarding the daily release of excess Reserves which is to be included in a future Infight Services Weekly.

Follow-Up: Ensuring Use of Proper Procedures When Assigning Pre-Boards

Management stated work is still ongoing internally with regard to the joint Safety and Scheduling Pre-board review project, but had no further updates at this time. They did share they are looking to see what tools can be used to communicate the pertinent information with Flight Attendants, but were clear it is still very much in the “design” phase. We expressed lingering concerns about the overall process and the lack of clarity on the system. 

Follow-Up: Days Off Preceding and Following a Vacation Are Considered a Single Block

Following our previous discussion where management confirmed that Reserve days off that immediately precede and follow a period of vacation are considered a continuous block for the purpose of picking up trips under Contract Section 8.L. and 8.M., we sought clarification as to if the existing CCS automation supports this understanding.

IT determined the error message received by the Flight Attendant in the previously provided example was correct based on the placement of the ‘RLSD’ coding. In order for the system to work properly, the ‘RLSD’ code must be on the last day of availability prior to the vacation. When asked why the ‘RLSD’ was not populated correctly in this case, we learned there are some scheduling codes after which the ‘RLSD’ must be added manually. We asked for a list of these various codes and will follow up.

Follow-Up: Reserves Are Only to be RLSD for One Day at a Time During 1930 Process

We asked management to explain how they are addressing with schedulers the improper release of excess Reserves for multiple days at a time as we continue to get reports of this occurring. Management maintains, based on a review of schedules, there have not been many occurrences. However, where it has, individual schedulers have been coached. The issue has also been added to daily scheduler briefings.

Follow-Up: Improper Ordering of Multi-Day Reserves in LHR

We provided examples where multi-day Reserves in LHR were assigned out of order despite there being automation in place to prevent this from occurring. Multi-day Reserves at LHR are not mixed together in TMAC order, but are instead separated by day-group (4-, then 5-, then 6-day Reserves). Management stated they have found some schedulers, out of habit, continue to use outdated availability screens in COSMOS rather than the updated screens in uCrew. There has been some discussion internally with the Automation team about the possibility of “turning off” the old screens and we are seeking an understanding of the impact of such a change.

Ensuring Proper Release of Reserves for Next-Day Following Completion of Standby

We provided management additional examples where Reserves were not properly released for the next day following a Standby period that concluded after the 1930 process. In cases where other Reserves of the same day-group with less TMAC were released during the process, those on Standby during the process should also be released unless there has been a drastic change to the needs of the operation that was not previously known. Management stated they have coached the individual scheduler involved.

Releasing Those with ‘RA’ Days When Excess Reserves Are Released

We asked management why those with ‘RA’ days are not released (RLSD) if they are not assigned during the 1930 process and all other Reserves available for the same number of days have been RLSD. Management was not immediately sure how that would work because those with ‘RA’ days are not on the same availability list with regular Reserves. There was also a question about how a ‘RLSD’ would impact pay protections. We will continue to follow-up on this issue.

Contact the MEC Reserve Committee:

Email: reserve@unitedafa.org

Phone: 847-292-7170 (ext. 536)


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