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AFA Debrief: November 16, 2023

Date: November 16, 2023

AFA Debrief – November 16, 2023

  • Holiday Bonus Point
  • Holiday Absence Certificate
  • Thanksgiving: November Contractual Holiday
  • Navigating the Holiday Season
  • MEC Employee Assistance Program Training
  • Time Sensitive Benefits Reminders

Holiday Bonus Point

As in years past, the Union and the company have agreed to amend section 23.F. through an executed Letter of Agreement. Flight Attendants are eligible to be awarded one attendance point credit during the designated winter holiday period, which takes place December 15, 2023, through January 4, 2024, provided all of the following conditions have been met:

  • The Flight Attendant is on active status during the entire designated holiday period.
  • The Flight Attendant works a flight segment and/or stands Reserve during the period covering December 15, 2023-January 4, 2024, local domicile/base time.
  • The Flight Attendant generates zero attendance points as defined in Section 23.F.1. of the 2016-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement during this same December 15, 2023-January 4, 2024 time period.

Holiday Absence Certificate

Pursuant to section 13.C.4. of our Contract, the company has provided notification that an Absence Certificate will be required for the Christmas holiday, defined in our Contract as including December 20th to January 4th.

During this time, Flight Attendants will be required to provide an Absence Certificate for sick calls occurring during this time unless the Flight Attendant has had no absences in the prior twelve (12) calendar month period.

The following is our understanding of the requirements:

When using sick leave during the designated holiday period (that is, without approved family leave), whether paid or unpaid, Flight Attendants are required to provide an Absence Certificate. Any paid or unpaid absence will result in the Flight Attendant being ineligible to receive the holiday bonus credit.

In terms of Family Medical Leave usage, the following guidelines apply:

  • Flight Attendants using FMLA for their own personal medical situation who request sick pay for the absence are required to provide the Absence Certificate if the absence occurs during the holiday period
  • Flight Attendants using FMLA for their own personal medical situation who do not receive paid sick time for the absence are not required to provide the Absence Certificate if the absence occurs during the holiday period.
  • Flight Attendants using FMLA to care for an eligible family member, unpaid, are not required to provide an absence certificate if the absence occurs during the holiday period.
  • Flight Attendants under Section 13.D.7. may use FMLA, paid, from their sick leave bank for up to three (3) consecutive days (or the duration of the pairing, whichever is greater) and are required to provide an absence certificate if the absence occurs during the holiday period.

If you have questions about the Absence Certificate requirement, please contact your Local Council Office.

Thanksgiving: November Contractual Holiday

JCBA Sections 2.Q. and 4.I.

Our Contract stipulates that Flight Attendants receive additional pay for flight assignments flown on designated holidays as outlined in Section 2.Q. Flight assignment at all United States domiciles & GUM flown over the U.S. Thanksgiving Day holiday are eligible for contractual holiday pay. 

Navigating the Holiday Season

AFA Employee Assistance Program

The holiday season is often characterized by joy and togetherness. But, for many Flight Attendants and their loved ones, it can sometimes be a difficult time of year.

Our career choice means that while we herald in the holiday season for many, connecting people around the world with loved ones, we often have to sacrifice time with our own family and friends. This can be difficult not only for us to be away from home, but for our families.

The holiday season can also be a time when stress, anxiety, depression, and loss become amplified. Know that these are things that millions of people struggle with and that no one needs to be alone when finding solutions.

Whether you are experiencing any of this while flying or at home, your AFA Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is here to help you navigate the ups and downs of the holiday season. No matter where you are in the world trained volunteers are available to confidentially assist you with anything you may be struggling with.

EAP Resources:

AFA-EAP International Help Line


Overseas Support

Holidays and Stress Management

Navigating the Holiday Season with Mindful Eating

MEC Employee Assistance Program 2023 Training

This past week, 14 Local Council EAP Chairpersons from around the system attended our MEC Annual EAP/Professional Standards Training in Chicago.

Training featured keynote speakers including the AFA International EAP/Professional Standards Director and our specially trained FADAP Coordinator. In addition, they had representatives from company EAP and additional fatigue training from our Central Scheduling Committee Chairperson.

Your Local Council EAP/Professional Standards Committee volunteers continue to acquire additional skills and resources to better equip them in meeting the unique needs of Flight Attendants.

We sincerely thank these hard-working volunteers for their dedication in service to their fellow Flying Partners. If you are interested in learning more about the resources available through EAP/Professional Standards please contact your local council.

Time Sensitive Benefits Reminders

MEC Benefits Committee

As we approach November 17, 2023, the clock is winding down for completion of Annual Benefits Open Enrollment for 2024.

Your MEC Benefits Committee reminds you of the following considerations which should be acted upon during the time remaining:

Verify your doctor is “in-network” by using the Find My Doctor feature.

Allocation of funding into a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) must be accomplished during the Annual Open Enrollment process in order to capture any opportunities to use pre-tax dollars for covered medical expenses.

As we do each year, this is a reminder for all of us to verify our "beneficiaries" as well.

The tools available from Flying Together >> Your Benefits Resource provide opportunities to compare plans and overall costs for the 2024 Calendar year. If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact the UABC at 800 651 1007.


NOV - Native American Heritage Month
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
DEC 4 – Final Vacation Allocations Published
DEC 5 – Instant Trading Opens


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