Home > News > AFA Debrief: February 16, 2023

AFA Debrief: February 16, 2023

Date: February 16, 2023

AFA Debrief – Friday, February 16, 2023

  • Flight Attendants - Aviations First Responders
  • The Present is a Gift
  • Joe Beirne Foundation CWA Scholarships
  • Reserve Timeline for the March Bid Month

Flight Attendants – Aviation’s First Responders

MEC Safety, Health & Security

As Flight Attendants, we take pride in our careers. We are more than the smiling faces and the beverages we pour that the traveling public sees. We are trained Safety Professionals, and we must value ourselves for who we are, the variety of circumstances we are trained to encounter, and the contributions we make every day on every flight.

We are the ones who fight fires, comfort passengers in times of grief, de-escalate conflicts, save lives by providing medical care, provide the comforting reassurance for those afraid or in need of additional care while always prepared for what the day may bring.

Recently our professionalism made the news as our Flight Attendant Safety Professionals quickly acted to contain a battery fire. This one situation illustrates how valuable we are in all that we do. Beyond our recognition of the contributions made, the crew’s actions were commended by management serving as a refreshing reminder that we are more than just the uniform we wear, the number of stars at which we are rated or the NPS scores. We are the sum total of all we do and this includes. the smiles, acknowledgments, and greetings we provide to each person we meet daily.

While we are the sum of all we contribute while never losing sight of that fact that, at our core, our value is in managing safety and security for every flight on which we work and every interaction we have with the passengers in our care.  Recognizing the safety actions of the crew recently acknowledged by management for their swift action is well deserved and our colleagues are to be commended.  Each day there are many more situations that are professionally addressed, well responded to and successful resolved because of our prevention and intervention. We are Aviation’s First Responders. We are essential as the first and last line of defense in the skies.

The Present is a Gift
 AFA MEC EAP/PS Committee

Do you find it hard to stay focused on one task at a time? Do you find yourself daydreaming? In our interconnected world, it is hard to live in the moment. Our technology and busy schedules keep us moving from one thing to the next. Learning how to gently pull your attention towards the present is a unique skill that can help improve both physical and mental health.

Stress and anxiety can be constant distractions from the present, which can include worries about both the past and the future. While these concerns may be valid, it is important to regularly take a few minutes to notice your environment, your breath, and even your posture. The following are two ways to help you stay present through mindfulness and other sensory exercises.

What is Mindfulness?

In 1979, Mindfulness was developed in a hospital setting for patients with chronic pain. But all of us possess the ability to practice mindfulness in our natural environment and obtain benefits from it. People generally report feeling calmer or more refreshed through Mindfulness. It focuses less on control and more on awareness – of our thoughts, sensations, and our breath. Remember, Mindfulness is a skill and does take practice. As a result, it might take a few times to get the hang of it. Consider this exercise below:

1.   Find your favorite guided meditation website or app. Widely used apps include Calm and Headspace. YouTube also has great videos such as this one to get started. Here is another good choice.

2.   Sit comfortably in a chair with your hands, palm-side down, and your back and bottom gently supported.

3.   Listen to the prompts in the video. The goal is to become more aware of each breath, the pattern of breathing, and the sensations of your body. Simply notice what is happening around you and inside your mind, without judgement.

How can I use my senses to stay present?

Humans have a very powerful sensory system. It helps keep us alert when we’re anxious, but it can also help us relax. Here are a few sensory exercises for each of your senses, to help you stay present.

1.   Smell: Notice and take time to absorb your favorite smells around you. It could be the smell of flowers, fresh-baked cookies, or your oil diffuser.

2.   Taste: Find and savor samples of your favorite foods. They could be spicy, sweet and sour, or warm and comforting.

3.   Sight: Adjust lighting in your space to warm and soothing tones. Focus your eyes on an object or image that brings joy or calm.

4.   Sound: New research is emerging about brown noise. Consider the wonderful genre of Lo-Fi music.

5.   Touch: Clothe or surround yourself with tactile comforting objects, like a favorite sweater or blanket.

While all of these individual ways to care for ourselves are essential to our overall well-being, what matters most is recognizing our individual limitations and, more to the point, when we’ve reached those and need someone to listen to us as we work our way through personal challenges.  Keep in mind, our dedicated peer professional EAP/Professional Standards representatives are always available and just a phone call away 800 424 2406.

Joe Beirne Foundation CWA Scholarships

The Joe Beirne Foundation awards sixteen partial scholarships of $4,000 for the 2023 - 2024 school year. Winners will be selected in a lottery drawing, are also eligible to receive a second-year scholarship of the same amount contingent upon satisfactory academic accomplishment.

To be eligible to apply for the scholarship, applicants must be CWA members or their spouses, children and grandchildren (including dependents of laid-off, retired or deceased CWA members). Applicants must be high school graduates or at least high school students who will graduate during the year in which they apply. Undergraduate and graduate students returning to schooling may also apply. Prior winners may not reapply.

application final deadline for the 2023-2024 school year is April 30, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

Reserve Timeline for the March Bid Month

MEC Reserve Committee

If awarded or assigned a Reserve line for the March bid month, there are various scheduling request deadlines and processes that occur during the period from the time lines are awarded through the first week of the new month. While some of these events occur on the same calendar days each month, there are a few that are based on when the new Flight Attendant bid month begins, which may vary from month to month. For your convenience, we have compiled a Reserve bid month timeline detailing these items in both calendar and list formats.


FEB – Black History Month
FEB 20 – U.S. President’s Day Federal Holiday
FEB 28 – United’s Profit-Sharing Payouts
MAR 12 – U.S. Change to Daylight Saving Time
MAR 26 – Europe Change to Daylight Saving Time



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