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AFA Debrief: November 09, 2023

Date: November 9, 2023

AFA Debrief – November 9, 2023

  • Second Round of Vacation 2024 Bidding Now Open
  • Honoring our Veterans
  • AFA Benefits Committee Training 2023
  • Open Enrollment, Skin cancer screenings (SkinIO) and Wellness Checks
  • AFA Welcomes Class 2337!


Second Round of Vacation 2024 Bidding Now Open

The Second Round Vacation bidding period for 2023 is now open. Bidding for the Second Round will close on November 16, 2023, 0800 Home Domicile Time (HDT). Awards will be posted no later than November 20, 2023. 

As a reminder, if you did not bid during the first round of the 2024 Vacation Bidding process or did not bid enough days to be awarded vacation days, you will bid for all of your accrued vacation days during this bidding period. If a Flight Attendant does not submit a vacation bid during this round of bidding, they will automatically be assigned a vacation.

Remember that if you do NOT submit a vacation bid, the vacation you are assigned will be after the second-round vacation awards have been completed for all Flight Attendants submitting a bid. The assigned vacation will be made in seniority order from December, backward through January, with the largest block of days being assigned first.

For additional information on the rules when bidding for vacation, please refer to the 2024 Vacation guide on our website.


Honoring our Veterans

On November 11th, across the United States, Americans will come together to honor the sacrifices of our Veterans, service members, and their families. While their ranks and titles may differ, they all share a common trait: heroism. 

Veterans represent the strength of our Nation. Answering the call to service through unwavering courage and devotion. From their service in uniform, to their service in their communities when they have returned home, Veterans continue their mission supporting the infrastructure of America long after their commitment to duty has ended. 

No one day can ever be enough to honor the generations of Veterans who have defended and served our nation. In response to their sacrifice, it falls to each of us to remember their service and defend their rights and the benefits they have duly earned in service to our country.

Veterans make a solemn commitment to our Nation. They swear to defend and guard the ideals we hold true and risk their lives for freedom. Today, we thank all veterans for defending our hope for the American dream.


AFA Benefits Committee Training 2023

Last week, volunteers from Local Councils across the system successfully completed training sessions conducted over four days by the MEC Benefits Committee. 

The first two days of training provided an overview of our negotiated benefits, including Health Care Plans (medical, dental & vision plans) Company provided Life Insurance, Group Universal Life Insurance, Long Term Disability, Defined Contribution Plans (401(k)), and Defined Benefit Plans (CARP & IAM-NPP) and the final two days conducted an overview of Occupational Benefits. 

It takes great patience and dedication to navigate the rigorous programs offered to support all Members. With the completion of their training, volunteers will put their knowledge to work, supporting not only their Local Council leadership but also the Membership at their respective bases.

Member volunteers are the heart and soul of the Union. Their dedication to growing their knowledge to help serve others is a testament to what being a part of a Union is all about.


Open Enrollment, Skin cancer screenings (SkinIO) and Wellness Checks

MEC Benefits Committee 

As 2023 comes to a close, and we approach the busy holiday season, we recognize this is the time of year when we build "To Do Lists" to ensure we don't miss any of the important year-end deadlines.

While not wanting to overwhelm you with "To Do" items at this time of the year, your MEC Benefits Committee encourages you to add health check-ups to your "To Do List." 

Appendix C of Section 29 - Benefits (pages 262 - 264) outlines all of the Preventive Coverage exams, screenings, and immunizations (i.e., Flu, pneumonia, mammograms, travel vaccines) that are covered at 100%.

Our negotiated medical, dental, and vision plans allow us to keep ourselves and our dependents healthy and detect illnesses before they become problematic. Over the past several years, our overall health mindset due to the COVID pandemic necessarily became more reactive rather than proactive with a focus on preventative care. We strongly encourage everyone to return to the pre-pandemic "preventative care" mindset that has served us well in the past and that we anticipate will continue to do so into the future.

While not specifically cited in our Contract, the invaluable service offered to Flight Attendants by SkinIO in the early detection of skin cancer simply should not be dismissed or overlooked. As the predominant cancer affecting United employees, and that early detection indisputably saves lives, taking advantage of a completely free service where screenings can be conducted using our mobile device in the privacy of our home almost entirely eliminates any reason for us not to take advantage of this opportunity. You are able to acquire the app through the various app stores available. Search SKINIO for the application that facilitates a total body skin check. 

Open Enrollment closes the week prior to the U.S. Thanksgiving Day Holiday on November 17, 2023. We continue to encourage everyone to take the time to use the tools devised by the Benefits group to make an assessment of the coverage that best suits you and your family's needs for the upcoming year.

Appendix A of Section 29 - Benefits highlights Plan Designs for Required Medical Options. It is here that you will find specific information on the requirements of the Contract as it pertains to deductibles (in and out of network), HSA Seed Amounts (if applicable), Maximum Out of Pocket limits (in and out of network) as well as if there is a cross-application of Out of Network deductibles and Out of Pocket to in-network services. Consider the total cost of your plan choices by avoiding a specific focus on deductibles or out-of-pocket maximums. Also, don't lose sight of the fact that Health Care Flexible Spending Account balances have a very limited use (Dental & Vision only) when you elect a plan having a Health Savings Account. If you have questions, first review the information available at Your Benefits Resource from the Flying Together website. If questions remain, don't hesitate to contact the UABC at 800-651-1007.

For your planning purposes in the New Year, the contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k) plans increases to $23,000 for 2024, up from the prior year's $22,500. The catch-up contribution limit for employees aged 50 and over who participate in 401(k) remains $7,500 for 2024. Therefore, starting in 2024, those who are 50 or over participating in 401(k) plans can contribute up to $30,500.


AFA Welcomes Class 2337!

On behalf of our Union, we extend a warm welcome to the newest Members of our Flight Attendant family! 

We are thrilled to have new flying partners on board, and we look forward to helping them as they begin this incredible career. Our new Flight Attendants will be based at our domiciles in DEN, EWR, and ORD.

We firmly believe that they will enhance our profession with their unique talents and abilities, further strengthening our profession.

Please remember that these Flight Attendants are on probation. To ensure that they receive the most accurate information to support them, direct them to their AFA Local Council for assistance on Contractual issues.

If you are interested in supporting our newest Members, reach out to your local council to see how you can be a part of shaping their early careers as an AFA volunteer!


NOV - Native American Heritage Month
NOV 11 – Veterans Day
NOV 16 – Second Round of 2024 Vacation Bidding Closes (0800 HDT)
NOV 17 – 2024 Annual Benefits Enrollment Closes
NOV 20 – Second Round of 2024 Vacation Awards Published
NOV 23 – Thanksgiving (Paid Holiday U.S. & Guam)
NOV 24 – Vacation Allocations Published
NOV 30 – Vacation Trades Awarded by Seniority


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