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Pre-Boarding Clarification

Date: April 22, 2022

As we move into the heaviest travel season of the year, more flying is included in the pairings that we fly and often the compaction of this flying can create challenges in the operation, especially when thunderstorms create irregular operations.

While we are all familiar with Contractually compliant operational recovery provisions of our Contract which were negotiate by management to accelerate recovery and keep the airline flying, drafting and reassignment amongst these provisions, these are clearly defined in the Contract. 

In a similar way, pre-boarding was also negotiated to provide the company with a mechanism to prepare flights for departure in anticipation of late arriving connecting Flight Attendants. Unfortunately, to facilitate pre-boarding, there have been times when this has not been accomplished consistent with the Contract. 

And, while requests to do so can often be presented as part of being a Member of the team, it is important that we understand this is Flight Attendant work that should be done by on duty Standby Reserves under the terms of our Contract. There are circumstances where this work can also be done by qualified Flight Attendants on COBUS status as well as by qualified Inflight supervisors.

Pre-boarding, as covered in Section 8.N.7. of our Contract, is exclusively a Standby Reserve assignment.  Pre-boarding is limited to four (4) pre-boarding assignments per standby assignment

In the event there is an operational need for flight coverage, there are other provisions such as drafting, reassignment and deadhead rescheduled to work that can also be used to provide coverage to support an on-time departure that may be utilized by Crew Scheduling.

While we all want to work together to protect the operation, it is important that we do not sacrifice any negotiated provisions in favor of a short-term fix. Failure to adhere to our Contract can lead to unintended FAR violations, violations of the order of assignment and can distort the data used by scheduling to determine accurate staffing and scheduling needs that can be used to drive other scheduling decisions.

As an additional reminder, Reserve Flight Attendants who have been assigned a pairing on which they are no longer needed, may be assigned to standby status at their base and subsequently received a pre-boarding assignment from Airport Standby. This methodology ensures both accurate compensation and accounting of pre-boarding assignments to avoid violations of the Contract. Read more about Standby Pre-Boarding Assignments on Unitedafa.org.

If you have questions or concerns about pre-boarding, please contact your Local Council for assistance.

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