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Questions on Narrow-body Work Positions

Date: March 29, 2022

Much to our surprise, our recent (March 25, 2022) article describing the requirement for Pursers on certain specific narrow-body to work a position in the economy cabin as outlined in the Establish Staffing Guidelines (ESG) has raised a number of questions and initiated some requests for further clarification.

Not only are there questions about where the Purser works on the various aircraft, there have also been requests for clarification on where the XSC “extra” or fourth Flight Attendant on these aircraft should be working during passenger boarding. To locate this information, we can utilize our Link devices and/or log into Flying Together. In addition, through the Content app, there are a wide range of guides and manual available to support us in our roles during each phase of flight.

In addition, to these documents, the staffing sheets for each aircraft, also available through the Content Locker, provides specific information as it relates to your Flight Attendant bid position, jumpseat, suitcase storage location, live demo position and any additional responsibilities, including some associated with boarding. Additional and more specific information during boarding and the scheduled service can be found in the Policies and Procedures manual.

Where does the Extra Work During Boarding?

For example, the “Extra” Flight Attendant on a domestic pairing on a narrow-body 73C/37X/37K is identified on the staffing sheet as Flight Attendant #2 (identified further by pairing 3XXX or 70XX LS01) and is assigned the duties of briefing UMNRs & Escort/Specials in UE and, where applicable, to make all language announcements. These are the specific duties assigned to the Extra. Each additional working position has specific duties also identified on the staffing sheet by aircraft fleet type. 

During the boarding process, however, all Flight Attendants should be evenly distributed through the cabin and monitoring carry-on baggage to ensure it is properly stowed. If you notice overhead bin space is filling up, notify the International Purser/Purser and CSR. Standing in the galley and doing non-work-related business (i.e. drinking, eating or using a personal mobile device) during boarding is not permitted. Refer to Inflight Policies and Procedures >> Chapter 1 >> General >> Boarding Preparations for additional information.

Purser UE Service Responsibilities on Three (3) Flight Attendant Crew

As a further clarification, there is apparently some confusion on the responsibility of the International Purser/Purser on those aircraft staffed with a total of three (3) Flight Attendants, such as the 737-700, the A319/A320 aircraft. Established Policies and Procedures requires that cabin coverage is consistently met; that is, one Flight Attendant must be available in each occupied cabin/zone during the flight for safety and security related issues. In contradiction to this expectation, somehow there seems to be confusion that the International Purser/Purser should “vacate” the forward cabin after serving those passengers in the premium cabin to work a dedicated position in the economy cabin. This is not a reasonable expectation given the cabin coverage requirements established for the safety and security of the flight must be met. As Flight Attendants, we must all follow cabin guidelines and maintain proper cabin coverage in each cabin/zone during the flight.

The company provides a number of guides and tools for staffing and service. Sometimes finding what you’re looking for is not always easy especially given the number of available resources. What you can count on if you have difficulty finding what you need and that is your Local Council Office. Especially in those circumstances where there may be some misunderstanding about everyone’s responsibilities, it is always best to check these resources first. If, after you do the research, you find your understanding is correct, the very best thing to do is reach out to your EAP/Professional Standards representatives for assistance in clarifying the roles.

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