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2023 Reserve Christmas Wishlist FAQs

Date: December 1, 2023

1. When can I begin to add preferences?

The system went live at Noon Central Time on 12/1/2023. Any layover preferences added before that time must be input again in order to be evaluated for 2023 assignments.

2.  I didn't know this process existed during the holidays for Reserves.  Is this something new?


This process is provided for under Section 8.H.8.c. of our Contract. For a complete description of the process, please see our detailed guide.

3.  How long is the period of time where I can have my request granted?

At Christmas, for three (3) days preceding and two (2) days following the Christmas holiday, Reserve Flight Attendants may indicate their preference for layovers for these days through the automated means provided by the Union.

4. How many layover request cities can I enter?

Reserve Flight Attendants can enter up to four (4) cities at a time. Be sure to enter your preferences as 3 character IATA airport codes in all CAPS. For example, ORD, IAD, SFO, PPT, MEL, MEX, etc.

5.  What if I were to enter requests to cities not served by United mainline or not flown from my base?

The award system can only accommodate wishes to layover in cities serviced by United's mainline operations and are found in pairings typically flown by your base (or special qualification sub-base, if applicable). For example, if you are based at EWR, you should not preference SYD since United doesn't typically have pairings laying over in SYD from EWR. 


In the same way, requests to layover in cities served exclusively by regional carriers cannot be accommodated.


6. If I am an International Purser or Language Qualified Reserve, can I preference a trip outside of my sub-base? Or, If I am a Regular Reserve, can I preference for trips that are in a sub-base, even if I hold the qualification?


Requests will only be granted for trips within your sub-base. In the same vein, a Reserve who is on "regular" reserve status (i.e. Reserve line number 62XX) will not be considered for trips that require a special qualification, regardless of any qualifications they may otherwise hold.

7.  Can I change my request after it's been entered and can I do this more than once?

Yes! Simply submit the form again and the system will use your latest response during assignments, so long as your final request was entered by the cutoff time.

8.  I've added and changed my request a few times in the process, which one will be considered?

Your latest request/update submitted before the deadline is the wish that will be evaluated.

9.  How is my seniority taken into consideration for my Wish List request?

When you add or edit your request your seniority number is attached to your file number and can be viewed by the system processing the request.

10.  I'm going to be without computer access for a while.  Can I call the crew desk with my wish list request rather than use this website?

No.  This website is the only way to input layover requests. Enter your requests on this page.

11.  Are there any minimum system or operating requirements needed to access and navigate this website easily and effectively?

The RCWL system is intended to be used on any modern platform. Please ensure you are using a modern browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, etc)

12.  Why do I need to enter my date of birth into the form?

Your date of birth serves as both a security verification and accuracy check for the wish list request. Entries with an incorrect date of birth will be ignored. 

13.  How do I know if my request has been recorded in the system?

You may enter an email to receive an emailed confirmation of your response. Once your request has been submitted, you receive an email with a confirmation of your election and your entries into the form. It is a good idea to ensure you entered your file number and birthday correctly, as the system will not alert you if you have mistyped an entry.


14. After submitting my first request, I returned to the Reserve Christmas Wish List at a later time and changed my information. I then received a different confirmation email. Which one should I reference if I have a problem?


If you opt in, every time you add a request, you will receive an updated Confirmation Email. Always keep for reference the most recent Confirmation email that you receive.

15. I am unsure if my request has been accepted and I am experiencing some technical difficulties with the Christmas Wish List website, who should I contact?

Please send your concern(s) and contact information to reservewishlist@unitedafa.org, which is regularly monitored by AFA Representatives. When contacting this email address, please include the following information:

  • your full name

  • domicile

  • file number

  • a contact email/telephone

  • description of the problem, type of computer and web browser you are using

  • description of the error message and/or nature of the problem

  • Screenshots (if applicable)

Requests sent to reservewishlist@unitedafa.org that do not include all of the above information may not be responded to.

16. Can I preference my base or co-terminal as a layover choice with the hope of being awarded a one-day trip so I can spend some of the holiday at home? Can I preference a layover at home for a multi-day trip?

The system evaluates layovers. Since a one-day pairing does not have a layover, this is not a valid Wish List request to the system. 

In most instances, pairings are not built with layovers at home, though there may be some isolated situations where a pairing may contain a layover at a base or co-terminal location. Reserves should not be assigned such pairings, and as such, any preferences containing a request for a home layover will be ignored. 


17. I am having difficulty accessing my UnitedAFA.org account, who do I contact?


Please contact account@unitedafa.org for questions surrounding access, password resets, or other UnitedAFA.org related questions/comments/concerns. We are aware that the reset page does not have a 2023 option and thus, password resets will have to be completed manually. Due to a pending website change early next year, work on the current version of UnitedAFA.org has ceased.


Updated: 1 December 2023

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