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Vacation Bidding

Updated: October 23, 2018

See also: Vacation Bidding Guide

vacation bidding

Vacation Bid October 23 - October 31, 2018

The first round of vacation bidding is from October 23 to October 31, 2018, 0800 home domicile time. Flight Attendants will have an allocation of days available, by base, for viewing in CCS once the first round of bidding opens on October 23. Once the first bid opens, Flight Attendants will be allowed to choose preferences regarding: 

  • The number of days they want in each vacation period
  • The option to “date slide” the vacation, up to three days in either direction of the start/end dates to ensure they receive the maximum number of days utilizing their initial bids
  • Accept fewer days for the vacation period by specifying the number of days by which the vacation is to be reduced.
  • The start date for each vacation period.

When reviewing the process for your first vacation bid, start dates are not pre-set. The vacation bid process will allow you to bid for any start date for a vacation period, if it fits within the month being bid, or complies with the rules for “crossing months.” It’s important to become familiar with the following vacation rules:

  • Flight Attendants may opt to split their vacation accrual into periods of not less than six days each. A Flight Attendant may have a maximum of five vacation periods. (Section 12.F.4.)
  • A Flight Attendant who has 11 or fewer days of accrued vacation, must bid their entire accrual in a single block. (Section 12.F.4.)
  • A partial day of vacation accrual will be rounded up to a full day for the purpose of vacation bidding, but shall be paid as a partial day. A partial day is always the last of the vacation period in which it is awarded. All hours must be bid in the same round. (Section 12.F.5)
  • When a Flight Attendant has a partial day vacation, she/he will be relieved of all duty for that entire day, including any trip assignment or Reserve duty. However, compensation for a partial vacation day will be paid on a pro-rata basis. For example, a 12 hour partial day will pay 50% of the 3:15 value of the vacation day
  • A Flight Attendant may not bid more than 50% of their accrued vacation days, unless they have 11 or fewer days of accrued vacation. When a Flight Attendant has accrued an odd number of vacation days, the odd day may be added to the 50% maximum for the first round. For example, a Flight Attendant with 19 days of vacation may bid a maximum of 10 days in the first round. (Section 12.F.6.)

If you have additional questions, contact your Local Council Office or the Vacation Team. In addition, refer to the 2019 Vacation Guide.

Vacation Bidding Options

There have been a number of additional vacation rules put in place to give Flight Attendants the greatest opportunity to be awarded the vacation periods they desire. Flight Attendants should become familiar with the following vacation options prior to bidding. Click on the title listed below for detailed information on each option.

Crossing Months Option        Date Slide Option        Fewer Days Option

What Happens if I Don't Bid for Vacation
If a Flight Attendant does not submit a vacation bid in the first round of bidding, they will be considered a No Bid. No vacation will be assigned during the first round of vacation bidding. You will, however, be required to bid all of your accrued days in the second vacation bid round. If a Flight Attendant does not submit a vacation bid in the second round of bidding, she/he will automatically be assigned a vacation. Keep in mind, the vacation you are assigned will be after the second-round vacation awards have been completed for all Flight Attendants submitting a bid. The assigned vacation will be made in seniority order from December backward through January, with the largest block of days being assigned first.

What if My Bid is considered an Insufficient Bid?
When a Flight Attendant submits a vacation bid and is unable to hold any of her/his selections, she/he is considered an Insufficient Bid. In this instance, vacation is assigned in seniority order from December backward through January after that round of vacation has been awarded to all bidders. The assignment shall be based on the number of days in your bid with the largest block of days assigned first.

Unpaid Flex Vacation While on Reserve Status
Reserve Flight Attendants who opted to elect the Unpaid Flex as part of their 2018 Vacation, should be aware that when bidding for their 2018 vacation, any Reserve (R) days that fall within the unpaid Flex vacation period will reduce your Reserve line guarantee.

For example:

A Reserve Flight Attendant having opted for a 7-day Unpaid Flex Vacation is awarded a Reserve line in a 30-day schedule month having the contractual 12 days off. Three days of availability are included in the awarded vacation period. Each of these Reserve days is valued at 4:20. Once vacation is applied to the Reserve line, the three days of Reserve availability are dropped by vacation. The value of the Reserve line will be reduced by the value of the Reserve days dropped with vacation. In this case, 3 X 4:20 = 13 hours. The 78 hour Reserve minimum guarantee is reduced by 13 hours and will result in the Reserve’s new minimum being 65 hours (78 -13 = 65 hours.)

This reduction in guarantee occurs only in those instances where the Reserve opted for the Unpaid Flex option during the Vacation Election period that closed on October 15th, 2018.

RESERVE LETTERS 

As part of the next step in the process, 2019 Reserve Letters for Flight Attendants based in FRA, HKG, HNL, LHR & NRT are expected to be available on or around September 23. This is the Contractual Reserve letter list that is required to be available in the month prior to the start of the annual vacation bidding process. As we have every year, Reserve Letters will be assigned to every Flight Attendant at these locations with the exception of those in the top 25% of the domicile as well as those who have not yet achieved their fifth-year anniversary, if any.

Reserve (A/B) rotation is only applicable at the above listed international bases. Reserve letters lists are effective from February 2019 – January 2020.

Reserve rotation letter “A” are the odd numbered months.
Reserve rotation letter “B” are the even numbered months.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
A B A B A B A B A B A B

Those Flight Attendants having their fifth month anniversary as a Flight Attendant in 2019 will not have their “R” status changed to an “A” or “B” until the month of their anniversary to become effective for bidding the following month.

Reserve Rotation Letter Trades

To submit a trade, log into CCS the select Scheduling > A/B Trade Request. Click on the window, fill in the requested information including the desired effective date for the bid month/year along with the employee ID number of the Flight Attendant with whom you wish to trade.

International Purser Reserve Rotation Letter Trades

Flight Attendants in an International Purser sub-base at the international locations may only request to trade Reserve Letters (A/B) with another Flight Attendant In the same International Purser sub-base.

2019 VACATION BOOKLET - ACCRUAL AND ELECTIONS

2019 Vacation accrual for all Flight Attendants is based on an evaluation of hours flown during the vacation accrual year which is defined as the Flight Attendant schedule months of September 2017 through August 2018.

All Flight Attendants' 2019 vacation accrual will be based on the vacation accrual year from September 2017 – August 2018.

VACATION ELECTION PROCESS BEGINS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

Vacation Election Process Ends on September 25, 2018 at 0800 Local Domicile Time.

INTRODUCING VACATION BUY BACK, FLEX AND THE DEFERRED 401(K) CONTRIBUTION VACATION ELECTION OPTIONS

Clarifying the Vacation Buy Back Option

Shortly after Reserve Letters are published, the Vacation Buy Back and Flex Election period will open on September 25, 2018 and will remain open for twenty (20) days through October 15, 2018. Why is this period twenty days long?

Prior to the annual vacation bid, the company shall offer a vacation buy back option that will provide Flight Attendants the opportunity to elect to take pay in lieu of accrued vacation that would otherwise be available for use in the next Scheduled Vacation Year. Section 12.D.1 of our Contract requires Flight Attendants be provided this twenty (20) day period to submit the vacation buy back request. In order to be awarded a vacation buy back request, a minimum of six (6) days of accrued vacation must be "sold". Those Flight Attendants electing to sell vacation will receive their buy back payments in the first quarter of the Scheduled Vacation Year in which the vacation was to have taken. That is, sometime during the period from January 2019 - March 2019.

NOTE: If you elect to sell vacation through the vacation buyback program, you may not participate in the annual Flex Program in the same Scheduled Vacation Year.

Section 12.E. of our Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement (JCBA) provides for the Optional Flex Vacation Program where, prior to the annual vacation bid, the company must provide Flight Attendants with a twenty (20) day period to submit a Flex Vacation request. The Flex Vacation program provides Flight Attendants with the ability to elect to take an additional seven (7) days of vacation. These seven days are unpaid unless the Flight Attendant elects to have 1:54 of pay deducted from her/his earnings each month to set aside the pay for this Flex vacation week. 

In addition to the Flex and Buy Back Vacation options, a Flight Attendant may also elect to contribute a minimum of seven (7) and a maximum of fourteen (14) days of paid vacation accrued for use in the following Scheduled Vacation Year to her/his 401(k) Savings Plan account or the UK Stakeholder Plan, or equivalent. It is important to note that these contributions will be treated as employee contributions, and are subject to Internal Revenue Code Section 401(a)(17) limits, or equivalent regulations.

All three of these optional election “choices” Flex, Vacation Buy Back and 401(k) deferral must be exercised during the twenty-day period from September 25 to October 15, 2018 required by our JCBA. For additional information please, Contact your Local Council Office.

VACATION ACCRUAL

Also see: Vacation Accrual While on Occupational Leave and Occupational Extended Illness Status

A Flight Attendant's (base) vacation accrual is established by her/his completed years of service with the Company and may be adjusted in accordance with paid activity during the vacation accrual year.

Completed Years of Service Base Vacation Accrual
1-4 12 days
5-9 19 days
10-16 26 days
17-24 33 days
25+ 40 days

As a newly employed Flight Attendant, how do I accrue vacation?
Newly employed Flight Attendants accrue one (1) day of vacation for each full month of continuous employment during the remainder of the Vacation Accrual year after the date of their initial employment. If employed prior to the 15th day of the calendar month, vacation credit shall be given for the full month.

What are the vacation accrual quarters for the 2017 – 2018 Vacation Accrual Year?
For 2017 – 2018, vacation accrual quarters have been harmonized.

First Quarter Second Quarter Third Quarter Fourth Quarter
08/30/17 - 11/29/17 11/30/17 - 03/01/18 03/02/18 - 05/31/18 06/01/18 – 08/29/18

How does paid activity affect vacation accrual?
Your annual (base) vacation accrual will be reduced when the paid activity in each quarter of the Vacation Accrual year does not meet either the 60-hour – 119:59 hour or the 120 hour or greater metric for accrual as follows:

  • A Flight Attendant who completes one hundred twenty (120) hours or more of paid activity in each quarter of the 2017-2018 Vacation Accrual Year, will receive full vacation accrual (100% of base vacation accrual).
  • A Flight Attendant who completes fewer than one hundred twenty (120) hours but at least sixty (60) hours of paid activity in each quarter of the 2017 - 2018 Vacation Accrual Year, will receive fifty percent of vacation accrual (50% of the Base Vacation Accrual.)
  • A Flight Attendant who completes fewer than sixty (60) Hours of paid activity for each quarter of the 2017 - 2018 Vacation Accrual Year will accrue no vacation.

The following chart illustrates accrual based on Paid Activity:

Years of Completed Service Annual Base Vacation Accrual Accrual per Quarter
(<60 hours of paid activity)
Accrual per Quarter
(60 – 119:59 hrs.
of paid activity)
Accrual per Quarter
(120 hrs. or more of paid activity)
1-4 12 DAYS 0 1D 12H 3 DAYS
5-9 19 DAYS 0 2D 9H 4D 18H
10-16 26 DAYS 0 3D 6H 6D 12H
17-24 33 DAYS 0 4D 3H 8D 6H
25+ 40 DAYS 0 5 DAYS 10 DAYS

Vacations can also be reduced as a result of Leaves of Absence.

VACATION REDUCTIONS

A Flight Attendant on a Leave of Absence (except occupational), furlough or disciplinary suspension will have her/his vacation reduced by 1/12th for each thirty (30) days or major portion on a prorated basis.

What happens to my vacation accrual if I take a Company Offered Leave (COLA)?
A Flight Attendant on a Company Offered Leave of Absence (COLA) will have her/his 2019 Vacation reduced for the period she/he is on the COLA.

Flight Attendants who have taken Day at a Time (DAT) Vacation
Flight Attendants may take up to ten (10) vacation days "borrowing" these from the next year's allotment. Day at a time (DAT) taken during the accrual period of August 30, 2018– August 29, 2019 will reduce the 2020 Vacation on a day-for-day basis.
The following chart illustrates vacation reductions due to Leave of Absence:

Scheduled Vacation Days
Months on 
LOA

12

19

26

33

40
1 1 DAY 1D 14H 2D 04H 2D 18H 3D 08H
2 2 DAYS 3D 04H 4D 08H 5D 12H 6D 16H
3 3 DAYS 4D 18H 6D 12H 8D 06H 10D 00H
4 4 DAYS 6D 08H 8D 16H 11D 00H 13D 08H
5 5 DAYS 7D 22H 10D 20H 13D 18H 16D 16H
6 6 DAYS 9D 12H 13D 00H 16D 12H 20D 00H
7 7 DAYS 11D 02H 15D 04H 19D 06H 23D 08H
8 8 DAYS 12D 16H 17D 08H 22D 00H 26D 16H
9 9 DAYS 14D 06H 19D 12H 24D 18H 30D 00H
10 10 DAYS 15D 20H 21D 16H 27D 12H 33D 08H
11 11 DAYS 17D 10H 23D 20H 30D 06H 36D 16H
12 12 DAYS 19D 00H 26D 00H 33D 00H 40D 00H

The following is an example of a Flight Attendant who had a leave of absence and did not receive full accrual based on paid activity. In this example, the Flight Attendant has completed thirty (30) years of service and has an annual base vacation of forty (40) days. For each quarter where the Flight Attendant completes 120 hours or more of paid activity, the actual per quarter accrual is ten (10) days.

Quarter Paid Activity Accrual Total Days
1st 240 hours 100% 10 days
2nd 270 hours 100% 10 days
3rd 160 hours 100% 10 days
4th 115 hours 50% 5 days
Total Vacation Accrual based on Paid Activity 35 days

This same Flight Attendant was also on a non-occupational Medical Leave of Absence for ninety (90) days during the third (Q3) and fourth (Q4) quarters. As a result of this Medical Leave of Absence, the vacation accrual is reduced by 3/12, that is, 1/12 reduction for each 30 days or major portion thereof. The vacation accrual is reduced by 10 days.

The vacation accrual based on reductions for Leaves of Absences is a total of 30 days.

NOTE: When the base vacation for a Flight Attendant is reduced for both paid activity and leaves of absence, the greatest reduction is applied. In the above example, the 40-day vacation for the Flight Attendant is reduced to 30 days.

VACATION ACCRUAL LETTERS

On September 25, 2018, Vacation Accrual Letters will be available for viewing by all Flight Attendants in CCS. To access your personalized Vacation Accrual Letter in CCS: Go to Bidding > My Vacation.

What is a Vacation Accrual Letter?
A vacation accrual letter is a personalized communication to each Flight Attendant consisting of the following information:

  • Your vacation accrual seniority date and the number of adjusted days, if any, for leave of absence (LOA).
  • Based on this seniority date, your 2018 base (annual) vacation accrual
  • Your paid activity for each quarter of the 2017 Vacation Accrual Year
  • The number of 2018 Vacation days reduced for any applicable leave(s) of absence
  • Your total 2018 Vacation accrual in days and hours.

From the Vacation Accrual Letter webpage, you are able to proceed to the Vacation Election options.

VACATION BIDDING PROCESS

In preparation for the 2019 Vacation Bidding process, we will be publishing the 2019 Vacation Booklet which will address the following topics:

  • How to bid
  • Bidding options
  • Splitting your accrued vacation
  • Vacation day allocations
  • Vacation bidding for Reserves
  • No bid/insufficient bid
  • Vacation Pay

Vacation Bid Options & Rules

Vacation bidding is conducted in two rounds:

First Round:

Bids open: October 23, 2018
Bids close: October 31, 2018 (0800 HDT)
Awards posted: November 4, 2018

Second Round:

Bids open: November 8, 2018
Bids close: November 16, 2018 (0800 HDT)
Awards posted: November 20, 2018

During the first round of bidding, a Flight Attendant may not bid more than 50% of her/his accrued vacation days, unless she/he has eleven (11) or fewer days of accrued vacation. When a Flight Attendant has accrued an odd number of days, the odd day may be added to the 50% maximum for the first round. For example, a Flight Attendant with nineteen (19) days of vacation may bid a maximum of ten (10) days in the first round.

  • Flight Attendants may opt to split their vacation accrual in periods of not less than (6) days.
  • Flight Attendants may have a maximum of five (5) vacation periods.
  • A Flight Attendant having 11 or fewer days of accrued vacation shall bid her/his entire accrual in a single block.

Partial Vacation Days

A partial day of vacation accrual is rounded up to full day for the purpose of vacation bidding and scheduling but will be paid as a partial day. The partial day is always the last day of the vacation period in which it is awarded.

Crossing Bid Months

A Flight Attendant may bid for a vacation period overlapping two bid months. However a Flight Attendant may not bid for a vacation period overlapping two scheduled vacation years. Flight Attendants may no bid a vacation that overlaps from December 2019 into January 2020.

The minimum vacation bid to cross from one month to the next is fourteen (14) full days. In order to cross months using 14, 15 or 16 days must meet the following rules:

  • There must be a minimum of four (4) full days in both months
  • Partial Vacation days cannot be counted as a full day.

To cross months using seventeen (17) days or more, the following rules must be met:

  • Both months must have a minimum of seven (7) full days in both months.
  • Partial Vacation days cannot be counted as a full day.

Date Slide

Flight Attendants have the option to ‘slide’ the vacation period up to three (3) days in either direction from the start date of the vacation period.

The vacation award will be based on the ability of the vacation award logic to award the vacation by sliding in the following sequence: original bid start date +1, -1, +2, -2, +3, -3.

  • If the bid slides into another month, the system will only process the slide that is valid. It will avoid that day that will leave less than four (4) days in one month on the 14, 15, 16 day vacation bid or less than seven (7) days in the 17 days or more bid. After the slide, the vacation must meet the cross bid month rules.
  • If none of the slide options can be awarded using the first bid choice, the process will be applied to the second bid choice and we be continued through all of the bid choices.

Reduce Vacation (Fewer Days Option)

Flight Attendants have the option of accepting ‘fewer days’ than that for which they bid under the following circumstances:

  • Must have accrued twelve (12) or more full vacation days.
  • Vacation will be based on the ability to award the longest stretch of available days within each bid choice according to the bidding rules.
  • The vacation will be reduced one day at a time up to the number of days specified.
  • The bid may be reduced to a minimum of six (6) days anywhere within the original bid.
  • If at least six (6) days of the first choice cannot be awarded, the processes will be applied to the second bid choice and will be continued throughout all of the bid choices.
  • When a Flight Attendant chooses to reduce days in Round #1, any un-awarded (reduced) vacation days are rolled over to Round #2.
  • When a Flight Attendant chooses to reduce days in Round #2, the reduced days are added to the last vacation period.
  • In the second round of bidding, the last vacation period cannot be reduced.

Combination (Date Slide and Reduce Days)

The award process will evaluate all options (Date Slide & Reduce Days) for the start dates specified prior to moving into your next vacation bid. (Refer to pages 13 & 14 in the 2019 Vacation Bidding Guide for examples.)

Transfers

A Flight Attendant who changes bases shall retain her/his vacation period(s). In the case of a new base opening, a Flight Attendant may be required to re-bid her/his remaining vacation days.

Vacations Encompassed by a Leave of Absence

Vacations Encompassed by a Leave of Absence shall be treated in the following manner:

  • The vacation may be left intact and the Flight Attendant will be paid for the vacation period, or
  • Permit a trade of vacations in accordance with the trading provisions of Section 12.C. The result is the removal of the original vacation period from the period of leave, or
  • A Flight Attendant scheduled for jury duty, or on medical leave or occupational leave or who is hospitalized due to illness or injury may, not later than one calendar day before her/his vacation begins defer the vacation until later in the Scheduled Vacation year.
    • Upon return to work, she/he will choose from available vacation periods.
    • If no vacation period is open and the deferred vacation was a paid vacation, the Flight Attendant will be paid for the deferred vacation at her/his rate of pay in the last month of the Scheduled Vacation year in which the vacation would have been taken.
    • A Flight Attendant will have the option to either carry unused vacation into the following vacation year under the terms of Section 12.C.8.d. or be paid for the vacation under the terms of Section 12.C.8.c.
    • A Flight Attendant must advise the Company of their election to carry unused vacation into the following vacation year no later than November 30. If no election is made by November 30, vacation will be paid out under the terms of Section 12.C.8.c.
    • The payment shall be made not later than their February 1 paycheck of the following year.
    • Flex Vacation cannot be carried into the following year.
  • If an election is made to carry over the deferred vacation days to the following Scheduled Vacation year
    • She/he will choose from available vacation periods after the vacation periods for that year have been awarded.
    • This provision may only be utilized once per Scheduled Vacation year.