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AFA Debrief: March 07, 2023

Date: March 7, 2023

AFA Debrief – March 7, 2023

Our Training.  Our Commitment.  Our Value.
Crew Management and Safety
Women of Aviation Worldwide Week
Cabin Jumpseat Authority (CJA) Listing and Award Procedures

Our Training.  Our Commitment.  Our Value.

The events of the past week in our very public industry, while presenting significant challenges to those Flight Attendants directly involved, serve to highlight the importance of our training, while reinforcing our commitment to the traveling public and our profession.  While this week’s events have been highlighted more heavily in the press than perhaps many of the day-to-day challenges we face every day on every flight, collectively these events demonstrate the value of our work and our daily contribution to our airlines.

Regardless of whether we started our careers years ago or within the past month, we share a common mission.  We are aviation’s first responders and the final line of defense in the sky.  While there is no question we are the welcoming face of our respective airlines, we are ultimately there to safeguard the passengers in our care and to protect the aircraft from any threat with which we may be faced in the course of our workday.

As a crew, we demonstrate the importance of and value that comes from working together.  We stand with our flying partners, pilots and passengers on the aircraft as we face unexpected challenges. Through the pandemic we stood united against aviation worker assault, which skyrocketed in part due to the highly politicized masking policy. Flight Attendants were on the front lines experiencing harassment, verbal, and physical assault. We called on the airlines, and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to enact stronger repercussions for anyone that would harm a Crew Member and interfere with our duties to keep the aircraft safe.

United recognized the “quick action” of the flight crew and passengers in their collective effort to address the security concern on the flight ultimately preventing any serious injuries from occurring. 

We commend our flying partners for their deliberate actions to protect the safety of the flight and all of the passengers in their care.  Their example demonstrates our charge to care for everyone on the flight while, at the same time, pointing out the urgency to create a national banned disruptive passenger list.  This is yet another example of where we can all come together to work for a legislative fix to a problem affecting aviation safety.

These types of incidents must be recognized for what they are; that is, an effort to distract the crew from responding to legitimate medical, safety and security emergencies.  Ultimately, their impact puts everyone on the flight at risk and this simply cannot be tolerated.

Crew Management and Safety

Safety is at the core of everything we do. Laying a strong foundation for our flight begins with one of our earliest interactions as a crew. We encourage you to take a moment for safety and disconnect from all distractions during our required crew briefings. Whether your briefing is being led by the Purser/International Purser and/or the Pilot in command, the information shared is setting up communication for the duration of the pairing.

Communication is key in quickly and accurately addressing any issue that may arise.  Whether on the ground or in the air, we know instinctively that we can trust in our ability to communicate and work as a team alongside the Flight Deck to resolve matters.

Pilots are safety professionals as are we and they too want to maintain a safe, healthy, and secure aircraft. Flight Attendants should feel empowered to have discussions with the Flight Deck and raise concerns about anything they feel needs to be addressed using CLR.

Here are some examples of communication management skills in the airline industry:

·        Clear and concise communication: Clear communication helps ensure that everyone understands what is expected of them, and it can help prevent misunderstandings and avoid error chains that could lead to safety incidents or customer dissatisfaction.

·        Active listening: Active listening is essential in understanding customer needs, concerns, and complaints. It is also crucial for pilots and other personnel who need to receive and process information quickly and accurately.

·        Non-verbal communication: Non-verbal communication, such as body language and facial expressions convey a lot of information, especially in situations where verbal communication may not be possible or effective.

·        Conflict resolution: Conflict can arise in any workplace, and it's essential to have skills to resolve conflicts calmly and professionally. In the airline industry, conflict resolution skills can help defuse potentially volatile situations with passengers or other personnel.

·        Multilingual communication: In a global industry like the airline industry, being able to communicate in multiple languages is a valuable skill. Multilingual communication helps ensure that customers from different countries and cultures feel welcome and understood and adds an entirely different depth of understanding to these interactions.

Overall, effective communication management skills are critical to our success as a Crew. These skills help ensure that flights run smoothly, and safety is maintained.

If you ever find yourself in a situation where any crew conflict is affecting their ability to communicate safely, MEC EAP/Professional Standards is available to confidentially find solutions and offer support.

Women of Aviation Worldwide Week

Women of Aviation Worldwide Week is an annual global event that aims to encourage and inspire more women and girls to pursue careers in aviation and aerospace. The event typically takes place during the first week of March, coinciding with the anniversary of the first female pilot's license, which was issued to French aviator Raymonde de Laroche on March 8, 1910.

This year, Women of Aviation Worldwide Week will be held from March 6 to March 12, 2023.

During Women of Aviation Worldwide Week, aviation organizations and businesses around the world hold events, activities, and outreach programs, such as fly-ins, airport tours, and aviation career seminars, to introduce women and girls to the many career opportunities available in aviation and aerospace.

The week also includes the Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week Challenge, which invites pilots and aviation enthusiasts to introduce a girl or woman to aviation for the first time during the week and record their experience on the Women Of Aviation Worldwide Week website. The challenge aims to help break down barriers and stereotypes that may discourage women from pursuing careers in aviation and to encourage more gender diversity in the industry.

When it comes to honoring women in aviation there are few more memorable than the founders of our Union, AFA; Sally Watt, First Secretary, Edith Lauterbach, First Treasurer, Francis Hall, Vice President, Shirley Thometz, Negotiator, and Ada Brown, President, who all came together in solidarity to fight for their rights as Flight Attendants and as women in the workforce.

Together these leaders negotiated our first contract, securing a substantial pay raise, setting a limit on duty hours, set rest periods, and established a grievance procedure. They singlehandedly began the wave of change that evolved a short-term job into a lifelong career as a First Responder. The changes they fought for improved the careers and quality of life for everyone in our industry.

Women of Aviation Worldwide Week is an important initiative that highlights the contributions of women in aviation and aerospace and inspires more women and girls to pursue careers in these aviation fields and for our profession as Safety Professionals.  We all should continue to build on their foundational labor and honor their bravery and sacrifices which created for us the opportunities we share today.

5 Facts about Women in Aviation from Women of Aviation Worldwide:

They have their own name

·        Women aviators are also known as aviatrixes.

They make up a small percentage

·        Women make up about 6.4% of the Aviation industry worldwide.

First International Licensed Female pilot

·        The African-American female pilot, Bessie Coleman, received an international pilot license in 1921

The most flying hours by a female

·        Nicknamed ‘mama bird,’ Evelyn Stone Bryan holds the Guinness world record for the female pilot with the most logged flying hours with 57,635.4 hours.

Youngest solo female pilot

·        Zara Rutherford set a Guinness world record as the youngest solo female pilot in 2022, flying 199 days around the globe.

Cabin Jumpseat Authority (CJA) Listing and Award Procedures

While the use of Cabin Jumpseat Authority (CJA) is provided for under our Contract, its use is also subject to company regulations, and this includes the ability for Flight Attendants to list for both non-revenue standby and jumpseat authority at the same time on the same flight.  

Additional information regarding our contractual cabin jumpseat (CJA) privileges can be found in Section 3.A. in our Contract.

Guidelines for listing and awarding include:

If a (physical) jumpseat is available and the aircraft is weight restricted, jumpseat authority will not be denied for any Flight Attendants.  The number of Flight Attendants using jumpseat authority on weight restricted flights may be limited to the number of available (physical) jumpseats.

Flight Attendants must check-in for the jumpseat no later than 30 minutes prior to scheduled departure.  Flight Attendants who have met the 30-minute check-in shall be awarded available jumpseats in jumpseat seniority order.  In an instance where self-service electronic means are not available, Flight Attendants shall have the ability to list and check-in with Customer Service Representatives (CSR) no later than scheduled departure.

Walk-up jumpseating shall be permitted to the extent consistent with the needs of the operation and shall be awarded on a first come first served basis, and only after Flight Attendants who have met the 30-minute check-in have been awarded jumpseats.

Available Flight Attendant jumpseat(s) may be awarded prior to awarding non-revenue seats or “accommodating” other jumpseat authority riders in available passenger seats.

Flight Attendants who decline the award of the jumpseat will be removed from the jumpseat list.

The targeted guideline for the award of available jumpseats is 25 minutes prior to scheduled departure.  Flight Attendants must have checked-in and be present at the time of the jumpseat award.  That is, the Flight Attendant must be at the gate, in person, when called by the CSR for a jumpseat assignment, otherwise the next person on the list will be awarded the jumpseat.

When seats are available in the cabin after other stand-by passengers (revenue and non-revenue) have been boarded, Flight Attendants may travel in the cabin on jumpseat authority, even if the jumpseats are occupied, provided that such travel does not displace revenue passengers.

As a reminder, our AFA-CWA Constitution and Bylaws establish that the development of reciprocal agreements with other airlines is a priority of our Union. AFA has been successful in our efforts to date, and we continue to advocate for additional reciprocal agreements.  For more information regarding the agreement with each individual airline, visit our website at www.unitedafa.org.


MAR – Women’s History Month
MAR 12 – U.S. Change to Daylight Saving Time
MAR 26 – Europe Change to Daylight Saving Time
APR 30 – The Joe Beirne Foundation CWA Scholarship Deadline




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