White Flag and Purple Flag
May 27, 2022
This past week we have experienced irregular operations and staffing shortages across the system. As part of our Contract, management may use White Flag and Purple flag to financially incentivize Flight Attendants to pick up trips and help maintain or prevent disruption to the operation.
While this provision has been in place for many years there is still some confusion on the line as to the parameters surrounding White and Purple Flag Trips.
White Flag is declared when management identifies coverage concernsfor specific days, at specific locationswhere coverage might be tight.
Purple Flag is declared when management identifies coverage concernsfor specific pairings, at specific locationswhere coverage might be tight.
Once Scheduling declares White (or Purple) Flag, Flight Attendants straight picking up one of these pairings from CCS OPEN TIME can qualify for white (purple) flag compensation as set forth in our Contract. White (purple) flag trips can be picked up through the Electronic Bulletin Board. There is no need to contact Crew Scheduling to pick up these trips. You must be in position and operate the pairing or, if cancelled, be reassigned to receive pay protection at the white (purple) flag rate. All out of base pick up rules apply. White (purple) Flag pay is for all hours flown and credited for the pairing.
As a reminder, White and Purple Flag indicators follow the pairing when directly traded to another Flight Attendant. However, once a pairing with a White Flag indicator is traded with open time, the trip becomes ineligible for the incentive pay. This is because a trade with open time is not a straight pick up. It is trading one trip for another open trip.
Once you have completed any pairing with a White or Purple Flag designation it is important to verify your compensation has been correctly recorded on your pay advice. The company’s payroll system is not programmed to pay white/purple flag pay once a pairing has been traded with another pairing from open time. This is less obvious when a Flight Attendant is picking the trip up from another Flight Attendant through mutual ads. If, at any time during the chain of custody of the white flag trip, the white flag trip was involved in a trade with open time, the pairing is not eligible for white flag pay unless the pairing returns to the open trip file and is subsequently straight picked up.
To learn more about White/ Purple Flag trips contact your Local Council.