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AFA Debrief: September 26, 2023

Date: September 26, 2023

United MEC Grievances Filed
Vacation 2024 – Vacation Accrual Letters
Annual Vacation Elections Now Open
AFA Welcomes Class 2331!

United MEC Grievances Filed

After reviewing reports from our Memberlink and Grievance Worksheet portal, the United MEC Grievance Committee has filed the following MEC Grievances:

MEC 7-23
 was filed when the company advised the Union that effective August 31, 2023, Crew Scheduling will no longer contact the third number for Reserves when giving an assignment.  The Union believes this is a violation of Section 8.K, which originated from the PM-UA Agreement. The historical understanding between the parties would be to use all the numbers listed prior to deeming a Flight Attendant Unable to Contact (UTC).  Additionally, during the implementation process, the company agreed to continue this practice and programed CCS to allow for three fields in the Flight Attendant’s CCS Profile. 

Until the dispute is resolved, Flight Attendants should no longer anticipate that Scheduling will place calls to their third listed number.

Flight Attendant Action: If you have a third number on file, and receive an unable to contact, and scheduling has not called your third number listed, please fill out a Local Council Worksheet.

MEC 8-23
 was filed when the company unilaterally decided to place a limit of 30.00 for all reimbursements for crew meals that were not provided for in accordance with Section 5.A.3.  In 2019 the Union and the company met to resolve a number of issues regarding crew meals and the resolution of MEC 4-19.  From those meetings arose an understanding, that in circumstances that a meal was not provided, Flight Attendants would be able to purchase a reasonable meal and be reimbursed for actual expenses.  This was not intended to replace contractual crew meal entitlement.  In those discussions reasonable was based on quality comparable to a crew meal, and what was available at the time of purchase and consideration of other factors.  As part of the resolution to MEC 4-19 the company agreed to publish the Union’s communication regarding crew meals (found here) which stated in part “In the limited circumstance where a crew meal is not boarded when contractually required, a Flight Attendant may purchase a meal and submit a receipt through the company’s CONCUR expense reporting system for actual/reasonable expense reimbursement.  In this context, “reasonable” is based on what food options are available, time permitting.

Flight Attendant Action: Ensure you are entitled to a crew meal in accordance with Section 5.A.3, verify absence of a contractually entitled meal. Attempt to get food based on the above criteria, submit for reimbursement.  If the reimbursement is denied, fill out a worksheet, provide and retain all supporting documents. 

MEC 9-23 was filed due to the company reassigning Flight Attendants to a (future) trip they are illegal for prior to them returning to base from the trip they are currently on.  The language of 7.Q.6 states “When a Flight Attendant becomes ineligible for their next scheduled trip(s), they shall notify Scheduling as soon as possible upon return to their Base from the trip which caused them to become ineligible.  At that time, they shall be subject to reassignment in accordance with Paragraph Q.”

Flight Attendant Action: Flight Attendants should continue to follow the process outlined in 7.Q.6 and when there has been a resolution to this Grievance an update will be provided.

MEC 10-23 was filed because the company has removed pay protection from Flight Attendants who make an earnest attempt to follow the provisions of 7.Q.6 and contact scheduling but are unable to reach a scheduler due to extensive hold times (the particular example is in excess of 45 minutes).

The Union is continuing to press the company for the answer to the question: “What in the opinion of the company is a reasonable time to hold for Crew Scheduling?”  When there has been an update further information will be provided.

Flight Attendant Action: When hold times are excessive, Flight Attendants should fill out Long Hold time reports, and in the event, they receive Missed Trips, or Pay Reduction, should follow up with their Local Council for further guidance and assistance. 

MEC 11-23 was filed based on the company’s announcement of new wings and name bars. The name bars are attached to the wings making it a single insignia versus the two separate items required by the JCBA. 

Flight Attendant Action: Continue to abide by company Appearance Standards. The Contract provides for Flight Attendants to have the ability to remove their name insignia when off the aircraft. 

MEC 12-23 was filed when the company announced the closure of the Boston Purser Base effective with the November bid period, and denied those individuals the ability to retain their qualifications if they don’t transfer to another Purser base.

Flight Attendant Action: No action is needed by Flight Attendants, when there has been a resolution to this Grievance, we will provide an update. 

Vacation 2024 – Vacation Accrual Letters

Vacation Accrual Letters have been prepared and are now available via the Vacation tab on the CCS home page. Flight Attendant 2024 Vacation Accrual Letters can be viewed by logging into CCS>Vacation>My Vacation.   Flight Attendants will need to change the vacation year from 2023 to 2024.

The following information will be displayed: 

·        Your vacation accrual seniority date as of August 28, 2023 

·        Your base vacation accrual is determined by your vacation accrual seniority date 

·        Your paid activity, by each quarter in the 2022 -2023 Vacation Accrual Year, to be used in determining your vacation accrual for the 2024 Vacation year 

·        Your 2024 vacation accrual, in days and hours 

For newly hired Flight Attendants, quarterly paid activity will not be shown because new hire Flight Attendants accrue one vacation day.

Vacation 2024 - Annual Vacation Elections Now Open

The Vacation Election period is now open as of September 23, 2023, and will remain open until October 15, 2023.

If you choose to participate in the optional Vacation Election process, select the “Proceed to Vacation Election” button located in the accrual letter page. You may also choose not to make any selections in the Vacation Election process and skip this step.

The vacation election screen will appear, and you will be able to make the following selections:

1.     Buy Back Vacation Days. Partially accrued vacation days are not eligible.

2.     Defer vacation days to your 401(k) or UK Stakeholder Plan

3.     Take Flex Vacation Days (paid or unpaid)

Vacation Buy Back:
We have negotiated in Section 12.D. of our Contract a vacation buy back option, which provides Flight Attendants with the opportunity to take pay in lieu of accrued vacation. Flight Attendants who elect to participate must opt to “sell” at least six (6) full days of accrued vacation where partial days are not eligible for inclusion in buy back. For the 2024 Vacation year, the company will be offering a 0.1% incentive payment that will be applied when the payment is made during the first quarter of the Scheduled Vacation year.

It is important to note Section 12.D.6. of the Contract provides that those participating in the Buy Back program may not participate in the Flex program during the same Scheduled Vacation year.

Annual Vacation Buy Back Overview:
Vacation days are “sold” back at a rate of three hours and fifteen minutes (3:15) per day multiplied by your hourly rate of pay, plus an incentive payment, which shall be determined and announced prior to the annual vacation bid. The rate of pay for Vacation buy back is based on your individual rate of pay as of 12/31/23. International Purser and Purser overrides are not included in your hourly rate of pay and are not applicable as part of your Vacation Buy Back payments.

Monthly Vacation Buy Back: 
The Company may offer vacation buy back on a month-to-month or base-by-base basis. Vacation days are sold back at a rate of three hours and fifteen minutes (3:15) per day multiplied by your hourly rate of pay and the Company will determine whether to offer an incentive payment for month-to-month or base-by-base vacation buy back. In these instances, vacation buy back will be awarded in base seniority order.

Deferred 401(k) Contribution: 
Flight Attendants may elect to contribute a minimum of seven (7) days and a maximum of fourteen (14) days of paid vacation accrued for use in 2024 into their 401(k) Savings plan account or UK Stakeholder Group Plan.

Flex Vacation Program:
Flight Attendants may elect to take an additional seven days of Flex vacation. Flight Attendants taking Flex vacation will either take the additional seven days as unpaid vacation or elect to have one hour and fifty-four minutes (1:54) pay deducted from their earnings each month to pay for the Flex vacation week.

·        Flight Attendants who opt for paid Flex vacation will have the last seven days of their last awarded vacation period designated as Flex.

·        Flight Attendants who opt for unpaid Flex vacation will have the first seven days of the first vacation period designated as Flex.

Once you have finished making your choices, a confirmation page will be displayed detailing your 2024 elections. It is recommended that you keep a copy of this confirmation page for your records.

At any time while the vacation election period is open you can return to the vacation election page and change/update your selections. Once the election period is closed, changes can no longer be submitted, and the last page submitted will determine your election.

Flight Attendants may contact the Vacation Team through (800) FLT-LINE, option 1, 9, 1 or by emailing FAVacationTeam@united.com. The Vacation Team will be available by phone by September 23, 2023, from 0830-1640, Monday-Friday and will not be available on Thanksgiving Day or the day after Thanksgiving, November 23 & 24, 2023.

complete vacation guide is available on Flying Together.   You may also tap the link for the comprehensive AFA 2024 Vacation Guide.

AFA Welcomes Class 2331!

We're excited to extend a warm AFA welcome to our new hire training graduates as they join our United Flight Attendant community. Our newest flying partners from Class 2331 will begin their careers at CLE DEN, and EWR.

By sharing your invaluable insights, you can pave the way for them to confidently step into their new career, filled with opportunities and adventures. Please, remember that our new Members are presently on probation. For guidance on contractual issues, please direct them to their AFA Local Council.

Considering becoming an AFA Buddy? Your role will be pivotal in their journey. Connect with your AFA Local Council to discover how you can make a difference.


SEP – National Recovery Month
SEP 12 – OCT 10 – Negotiations Survey III

SEP 15 – OCT 15 – Hispanic-Latinx Heritage Month
OCT – Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Every United Flight Attendant Member is being asked to take the Negotiations Survey III to help our Negotiating Committee gauge the current pulse of the membership in bringing your voice to the negotiating table, especially in the areas of scheduling and PBS.  Your Voice Matters! – Take The Survey Today!


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