Home > News > AFA Debrief: July 01, 2022

AFA Debrief: July 01, 2022

Date: July 1, 2022

  •       Management’s New Focus
  •       Reminder on Handling of Arrival Liquor at International Destinations
  •       Confirming your Beneficiary Designations – Life Insurance & 401(k) Accounts
  •       Continued Misunderstandings on “Checking In”
  •       New Leader Training
  •       Welcome New Hire Class 2217

Management’s New Focus

Earlier this week, Inflight communicated an upcoming uniform compliance check program. We were reminded of the fact we are the face of our airline for all things safety and service.  Unfortunately, we’re also the face of missing catering items and waiting at the airport to find out where our missing hotel information is, among many other things.

We were reminded of United’s efforts to create a more inclusive culture, enabling employees to look and feel their best while at work. Our Union has always been at the forefront of inclusivity, that’s not a new effort for us, and we support any effort in that direction. Furthermore, Flight Attendants really do want to meet uniform standards while looking and feeling our best. That’s not the issue here.

It's no secret that Flight Attendants have experienced challenges obtaining uniform items. From a deficit in the availability of uniform items for current Flight Attendants to our new-hire Flight Attendants not being provided a full complement of uniform items at graduation and, in some cases, ended up having to borrow from closets in Inflight or obtain uniform items from other than the expected company supply chain.

Considering all of the other challenges we are facing on a daily basis in the height of one of the busiest periods of travel, the timing of this initiative is poor and suggests a management disconnect exists on the pulse of the Flight Attendant group.

We ask management to consider that the energy and resources being put into the uniform checks by local base management, during the “height of our travel season,” might not be put to better use.

While everyone loves a good fun prize or a drawing, what we want now is operational support and a focus on improving the working and quality of life conditions for our Flight Attendant community. 

Might it not be put to better use having management help resolve real-time and immediate issues we’ve more than clearly identified.  Just to name a few, have local base management:

  • Help find hotels for crews stuck in an airport waiting for information
  • Work with catering to be sure we have the supplies we need ahead of departure time
  • Making real-time decisions in the moment to release Flight Attendants who have been on hold an excessive amount of time with the crew desk

As management recognizes our hard work, Flight Attendants look forward to the time when we can be excited by management’s hard work on resolving our immediate issues while allowing us to be rested, respected, and well-dressed!

Reminder on Handling of Arrival Liquor at International Destinations

Recent instances in DEL where liquor carts and/or carriers on flights inbound to the station were not properly sealed upon landing has signaled the need for a reminder on the procedures to be used for securing inbound liquor carts and carriers.   

As a reminder, closing inventories must be performed on the Sales function of the Inflight Service app.  For those international destinations that require accounting paperwork be submitted as a requirement for compliance with Customs formalities of the arrival country, use the Liquor Provisions Form (LPF) to record the counts.  Orange seals are to be used to lock carts and/carriers with alcohol on all flights prior to landing

While this reminder might, for some of us, be viewed as unnecessary, we are doing so to heighten awareness that by not sealing carts and carriers with alcohol on flights arriving in certain international countries, penalties for the airline ranging from fines to potential seizure of the aircraft can be the unintended consequence. 

Additional information on the proper procedures can be found in the Inflight Policies and Procedures Manual (IPPM). 

Please contact your Local Council Office Safety, Health and Security Committee or your base supervisor if you are unclear about the proper procedures to be used.


Confirming your Beneficiary Designations – Life Insurance & 401(k) Accounts

As the saying goes, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.”

It goes without saying, not all of lifelines up with the plans we might be making.  For this reason, it’s important that we protect our families and our hard-earned benefits by ensuring our beneficiary designations accurately reflect our intentions.

Marriage, birth, adoption, divorce, or death are all important reasons to review the beneficiary designation on your life insurance and 401(k) accounts.  Having the beneficiary, you want for your United Airlines Flight Attendant 401(k) Plan ensures that your account balance will transfer to who you wish without the cost or delay of your assets getting tied up in probate.   As a matter of understanding, a Will only distributes your personal assets and doesn’t apply to your 401(k).   If you don’t have an updated beneficiary, your loved ones may need to complete additional documentation which could delay their receipt of the payment for your account balance.  Depending on your individual circumstances, this might be something your family may need in the event something was to happen to you unexpectedly.  

Review and update your beneficiary information. 1. Log on to NetBenefits® at www.netbenefits.com 2. Click the Your Profile link 3. Select Beneficiaries* and follow the online instruction.

For more information, please contact your Local Council Benefits Committee.

Continued Misunderstandings on “Checking In”

We continue to address your calls and reports from around the system which indicate there continues to be confusion on the part of management as to the purpose of “checking-in” at the departure gate.  Over time, through our Union communication channels, we have consistently addressed this issue in order to not only avoid confusion but to also ensure that the efficacy of a process that was put in place as a means of mitigating potential FAR violations resulting from instances where FAA minimum crew was not onboard the aircraft at boarding time is not compromised.  Based on the reports we’re receiving from you, the following historical articles from our website have clearly been effective in communicating the intent behind the check-in process at the gate.

May 17, 2022, Debrief Article on Checking-in Confusion

May 6, 2022, Debrief Article

Crew Member Verification & FAA Minimums

We clearly understand the process, yet we continue to hear of crews being provided inaccurate information from certain members of management.  In many of these instances, when flights are delayed, crews are being approached and questioned as to why they have not “checked-in” for the flight despite the fact that the aircraft is not at the gate and has been re-scheduled to a later departure time.

We need to state this as clearly and succinctly as possible. The scanning process at the gate is about crew member FAA minimum compliance and has nothing to do with when we are contractually expected to report for a flight assignment.  As Flight Attendants, we check-in at the departure gate for our flight based on the contractual check-in time for the aircraft type to which we are assigned. The process at the gate has nothing to do with verifying that we’ve arrived at work on time.

At the gate, we swipe our badges just prior to boarding the aircraft as part of a comprehensive process to ensure that the FAA minimum crew complement is on the aircraft prior to boarding passengers.  During this extraordinary time while we are facing the unique operational challenges that are today’s reality, swiping in outside of these parameters creates the potential for an unintended FAR violation.

For more information, please contact your AFA Local Council Safety, Health, and Security Committee.


New Leader Training

Last week, the Officers of the United Master Executive Council (MEC) conducted Local Executive Council (LEC) 101 training for our most newly elected Union leaders.

Participants included representatives from our Local Councils in DEN, SFO and ORD as well as recently elected MEC Committee Members.  During the training, MEC Committee members from Communications, Grievance, EAP, and Safety Committee participated to create an awareness of resources available to the newly elected officers as we work together to take on the challenges of their new positions and in representing the Membership effectively.

We congratulate our newest leaders who stepped forward to do this important work.


Welcome Class 2217!

We are excited to welcome our newest flying partners from class 2217 as part of our Flight Attendant community.  Our newest flying partners will begin their careers at bases in DEN, EWR, IAD, IAH, LAX and ORD.

We encourage you to welcome each of them amiably, help them learn from your experience, and get them started on a path to success and adventure in their new career.

Please remember that our newest Members are on probation. To ensure that they receive the most accurate information to support them, direct them to their Local Council for assistance on Contractual issues.

And if you would like to become an AFA Buddy, reach out to your Local Council to learn how you can become part of this vital link to their success.



JUL 4 – U.S. Independence Day
JUL 19-21 – United AFA MEC Meeting, Chicago IL



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