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AFA E-Lines: September 18, 2020

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Contents of E-Lines for September 18, 2020

  • Take Action to Save Our Jobs
  • Airline Executives Meet at White House Over More Federal Stimulus
  • Semi-Annual System Seniority List Notice of Posting dated September 23
  • Transitioning to Reserve Status
  • Reserve Lines and Vacation – Maximizing Pay and/or Time Off
  • Vacation 2021 Bidding Process Begins with Vacation Accrual Letters
  • October 1 eFAOM and Staffing Sheet ChangesHave You Been on a Long-Term Special COLA? - Avoid a 401(k) Loan Default & Its Tax Consequences
  • Benefits While on Special COLA – Important Upcoming Changes - Effective 10/1/2020
  • Reminders and Quick Links

Take Action to Save Our Jobs

Inaction is not an option and there is growing support for a full relief bill. Everyone “supports us.” True support for the American worker comes in the form of a relief bill. We need every Flight Attendant, regardless of status, to commit to Take Action every day until October 1st.

Call Congress

Make three calls every day. One to your Representative and two to your Senators.

SENATE: 888-848-4824

HOUSE: 888-907-9365

"Hello, I am a constituent calling to tell my (Senator/Representative) that aviation workers need a relief package before October 1 to stop mass job loss and cuts to small airports that also hurt veterans and other Americans who count on air service to get their medicines in the mail. Both parties and the White House are on record with overwhelming support for an extension to the Payroll Support Program for essential workers and to keep service in place to small communities. But words of support won’t keep us flying or help us pay our bills. We need a COVID-19 relief package with our payroll support passed TODAY. In [12] days we’re out of work and millions are hurting without this relief! Keep us connected to our jobs, paychecks, & healthcare. We are counting on you. Thank you.”

Tweet Your Representative and Senators (add pictures of you in uniform to each!):

We've made it easy to Tweet at your lawmakers. Click here to get started. Or, you can copy and paste the following Tweets into your Twitter.

Flight Attendants and aviation workers are facing massive layoffs on Oct. 1 if Congress does not act. [tag your Senators/Representative], pass #ReliefNow to save my job & healthcare! #ExtendPSP

I’m one of the thousands of furloughed Flight Attendants who needs [tag your Senators/Representative] to act to extend the Payroll Support Program before Oct. 1. We need #ReliefNow! #ExtendPSP

Tell your personal story using the hashtags #ReliefNow and #ExtendPSP


Airline Executives Meet at White House Over More Federal Stimulus
Article credit: CNBC – Leslie Josephs

U.S. airline CEOs met with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Thursday, September 17, 2020, to make a last-minute attempt to convince officials to approve additional coronavirus aid as mass job cuts are set to hit the industry next month.

Click here to watch the video and read the article in detail


Semi-Annual System Seniority List Notice of Posting dated September 23, 2020

As we reported mid-July, by mutual agreement, the company and AFA delayed posting the Semi-Annual System Seniority list that is normally available mid-July in order to avoid any confusion with the System Seniority lists associated with the announced reduction in force that was also posted during that same time.

Consistent with Section 14.C. of our Contract, Flight Attendants have thirty (30) days from the date the announcement is made that the list is available for Flight Attendant perusal in which to protest any alleged omission or error affecting their seniority. 

If you believe that there is an error or omission that affects your seniority, contact your Local Council office immediately. The procedures outlined in Section 23.C. represent the exclusive method for handling of protests concerning seniority. You have a maximum of 30 calendar days from September 23, 2020, with the only exceptions to the 30-day rule are the following:

  • Flight attendants on vacation at the time of the posting
  • Flight attendants on Leave of Absence at the time of the posting
  • Flight attendants on furlough at the time of posting
  • Flight attendants on sick leave at the time of posting

In those situations, the Flight Attendant must report discrepancies no more than 30 days after returning to flight duty.


Transitioning to Reserve Status
MEC Reserve Committee

For the October bid month, most locations will see Flight Attendants transitioning to Reserve status who may not have served Reserve for a while. As a refresher, we have compiled the following checklist of important items to review and accomplish, if necessary, prior to going back on Reserve.

If you have questions, please reach out to your Local Reserve Committee for assistance.


Reserve Lines and Vacation – Maximizing Pay and/or Time Off
MEC Reserve Committee

If you have been awarded a Reserve line for a month in which you have vacation, there are a number of flexible options available to make the most of your pay and/or time off. We have compiled additional information on Vacation Fly-Through, Vacation Adjustments, and Vacation Slide options as they pertain to Reserves. If you have additional questions, please contact your Local Council Reserve Committee.


Vacation 2021 Bidding Process Begins with Vacation Accrual Letters
Central Schedule Committee

Within a matter of weeks, the Vacation 2021 process will begin with the issuance of 2021 Vacation Accrual Letters which will be available no later than September 25, 2020. These can be located by logging in to CCS > Vacation-> My Vacation. From here, select “To view optional election, click here”. The following information will be displayed: 

  • Your vacation accrual seniority date as of August 29, 2020. 
  • Your 2020 base vacation accrual is determined by your vacation accrual seniority date 
  • Your paid activity, by each quarter in the 2019-2020 Vacation Accrual Year, to be used in determining your vacation accrual for the 2021 Vacation year.
  • Your 2021 vacation accrual, in days and hours. 

It should be noted, for newly hired Flight Attendants, the quarterly paid activity will not be shown because new hire Flight Attendants accrue one vacation day for each full month of continuous employment during the remainder of the vacation accrual year after the date of initial employment. 

Detailed information concerning the annual vacation process will be available once the 2021 Vacation Booklet has been published and will be available soon on our website, unitedafa.org 

Additional information on the various processes associated with vacation bidding will be posted shortly on our Vacation microsite accessible from unitedafa.org


October 1 eFAOM and Staffing Sheet Changes
MEC Safety Health and Security

As we shared in the July 1, 2020, Inflight Services Weekly, Flight Experience, AFA, and Inflight Safety and have been collaborating to address your feedback and to further clarify work responsibilities and equally distribute the workload. In July, the first phase of this work was completed by adjusting service responsibilities.

Effective October 1, the work to realign safety responsibilities and introduce a redesigned staffing sheet to support these changes will be completed. Additional information can be found in IFSW dated September 16, 2020.


Have You Been on a Long-Term Special COLA? - Avoid a 401(k) Loan Default & Its Tax Consequences
MEC Benefits Committee

For those of us who have been on a longer-term Special Company Offered Leave of Absence (COLA) for some time and who also have an outstanding 401(k) loan, we want to ensure you are aware of some very important information to avoid the tax consequences of a 401(k)-loan default. 

Please keep in mind, while on a Special COLA, you are considered to be an active United employee, and as a result, 401(k) loan repayments must be made. Given the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, you have two (2) choices: a loan deferment or to continue making the loan payments.

Legislation was recently passed by Congress to help ease some of the financial impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. This includes the option to defer your loan repayments through December 31, 2020. To avoid a 401(k) loan default and becoming taxable income, you may want to consider loan deferment.

To request a deferment for loan payments, log on to netbenefits.com. Once on the site, from the “Quick Links” drop-down menu, select Loans or Withdrawals. After January 1, 2021, your 401(k) loan will be re-amortized, and you will be notified of your new loan repayment.

If you would like to continue making 401(k) loan repayments directly to Fidelity, set up electronic funds transfer (EFT) by logging on to netbenefits.com. Once on the site, from the “Quick Links” drop-down menu, select Bank/Tax information.

If you have any questions, call the Fidelity Service Center for United Employees at 800-245-9034. Representatives are available from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday.

During this pandemic, additional financial resources are available at the United COVID-19 Financial Wellness website.


Benefits While on Special COLA – Important Upcoming Changes, Effective 10/1/2020
MEC Benefits Committee

While on Special COLA, we have the ability to maintain health and welfare benefits coverage at active employee contribution rates for the duration of the Special COLA. As we’ve previously reported, we understand that many of you have expressed concern about your inability to timely pay for benefits having to wait until two months pass and building up a balance of either $750 or $500, depending on the start date of your Special COLA.

As we’ve previously reported, your MEC Benefits Committee has consistently pressed for the company to find a way to ensure these payments can be made timely without having to build up significant premium arrears balances.

Effective October 1, 2020, all Flight Attendants on Special COLA will automatically be moved to direct billing and pay. Your first billing statement will be generated as of October 10th and you will have 30 days from the billing statement date to make your payment.

If you are already set up on the direct bill and pay process, there will be no change and you will continue with the process with which you’ve already become familiar. Further, if you have already set up a recurring direct debit, a process we strongly recommend, those payments will continue to be deducted without change.

For additional information on any outstanding premium balance, visit Your Benefits Resources (YBR) from the Flying Together Website and view the Health Benefits Payment tile from the Home page.

Reminders and Quick Links

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Third Trimester CBT Due October 30, 2020