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Council 21 - Washington DC

About Council 21

Representing United Airlines Flight Attendants based at DCA. Local CWA #22021

Commuter Program Offers Protections for Air and Surface Commuters (Mar 17, 2019)

Council Office

Todd Failla

Todd Failla

LEC President
Patrick Hodges

Patrick Hodges

LEC Vice President
Chelle Tennyson

Chelle Tennyson

LEC Secretary
Lois Breece

Lois Breece

Council Representative
Michelle Masterson

Michelle Masterson

Council Representative
Thom Vargas

Thom Vargas

Council Representative

Meeting Minutes




Commuter Program Offers Protections for Air and Surface Commuters (Mar 17, 2019)



Ladies and Gentlemen of Council 21,

We still continue to get New Hires into IAD on a weekly basis. Last Friday, we welcomed the third class of nine (7) New Hire Flight Attendants from class 1904 to IAD. Next Friday, we will welcome another seven (9). We will continue to see New Hires in IAD for the forseeable future. Our tentative numbers have increased once agian to over One Hundred (100) New Hires into IAD. 

We countinue to look for IAD AFA BUddy Volunteers.  Please give some thought as to whether you would like to volunteer to be a New Hire Buddy. You do need to have some knowledge of the JCBA., Keep in mind, that your New Hire Buddy responsibilities could include answering many questions throughout their probationary period. If you feel you have the time and would like the ability to help our new hires transition smoothly into our base, then kindly submit your information by sending an email to c21engagement@unitedafa.org

 Our C21 Hotel and Transporation Committe Chairperson, Marget Wallace, has the following message for you, regarding reporting hotel issues.

Fellow Council 21 Members  - I wanted to publish this information again, because it is important. Our MEC Hotel and Transportation Committee, has developed a new system for a common reporting form for Hotel and Transportation issues. With our old systems having vanished with the move to common CCS, this has been an most important priority. 

The new hotel reporting form is available on the unitedafa.org website under the Reports tab.

Hotel and Transportation issues are to be reported to this single address by all Flight Attendants. 

Even if you don’t have an issue at this time, please take a look at the form. There are great improvements to the reporting system, including the ability to include photos in your report. Kudos to our MEC H&T Committee for having developed such a thorough system.  

And remember - if we don’t know there is a problem with a hotel and/or transportation, we can’t try to fix it.


 We are available to you 24/7 by either stopping in the IAD Office, calling 703 260 0051 during normal business hours or by using the prompts after hours. Here is the prompt order. Call 703 260 0051, then

1 –  Non-immediate issues; calls will be returned next business day.

2 –  Reserve ONLY Issues (Immediate need)

3 – Urgent and Immediate Matters.

Contact your Reserve Committee by Text or Email:

In addition to being on call 24 hours a day for urgent and immediate Reserve issues, the Local Reserve Committee is now available by text message or email for non-urgent matters.  You can text message/email the Reserve Committee with any non-urgent concerns or questions.  The Reserve Committee will make every attempt to respond to your inquiry within 48 hours.

Council 21 Reserve Committee by Text Message - 571.420.1721

Council 21 Reserve Committee by Email - dcareserve@unitedafa.org

To email Council 21, please use afadca@unitedafa.org.

Note! We do not use or respond to united.com emails for union business.

Thank you for being informed and engaged Members. Please remember to fly safe, challenge rumors and to respect each other.

In Solidarity and with Respect,

Todd Failla

Local Executive Council President

AFA-CWA, IAD Council 21



Commuter Program Offers Protections for Air and Surface Commuters:

JCBA Section 28

With the recent spring snow storm event that inundated the Denver area this week, many DEN based Local Flight Attendants, who commute to the airport via automobile, bus, train, or public surface transportation were met with impassable roads, closed highways and cancelled public transportation. This left many Flight Attendants who commute to their base locally, inquiring about the Commuter Program and if any of the protections provided in section 28 of our JCBA pertained to Flight Attendants that drive or use other means to commute to the airport for their assignments. To be clear, all Flight Attendants that commute by air or surface are provided commuting protections in the language of our JCBA, Section 28. In fact, the Commuter Program provides distinct guidelines for Flight Attendants that commute by surface/rail while at the same time providing separate provisions for Flight Attendants that commute by air. In either case we encourage Flight Attendants to read the Commuter Program, Section 28 in its entirety and become familiar with all of the provisions and requirements specific to their circumstances. 

Flight Attendants who commute by air can find detailed information in our Commuter Program educational article, available on unitedafa.org or by referencing their JCBA page 219. 

Flight Attendants that commute by automobile, bus, train, or public surface transportation can reference Section 28.B.4, which contains the following information.

Flight Attendants who commute by automobile, bus, train, or public surface transportation must exercise good judgment and exert every reasonable effort to report for work. By doing so, they will be afforded the same privileges contained in the Section for unforeseen events related to severe unforecasted weather conditions or natural disasters which render roads hazardous or impassable, or enroute mechanical problems, provided that they call their Inflight Duty Office as soon as the unforeseen event becomes known and it appears she/he will not make it to the airport to arrive at her/his domicile in time for their scheduled report (e.g., road accident, mechanical breakdown, severe weather). 

If you have additional questions please contact the C21 Office @703 260 0051.



Spring 2019 Regular Meeting of the United Master Executive Council  

MEC Communications Committee

April 16 - 17, 2019, your Local Council Leaders will attend the Spring 2019 Regular Meeting of the United Master Executive Council (MEC). This meeting will be held in Chicago at the Hyatt Rosemont, 6350 N. River Road, Rosemont, IL 60018. Your Local Council President, joined by the 15 other Presidents from around our system, will address the business of our Union and the issues that are important to you.

At the upcoming spring Meeting, the United AFA MEC Officers will provide updates on issues they have been working on since our last regular meeting. During this same meeting, elections for open MEC Committee positions will be conducted.  Election information, including qualifications and responsibilities of each available position, are available on the MEC Election Page of our website.

We encourage Members to see our democratic process in action by attending your Local Council meetings and, if you are in the Chicago area on April 16-17, 2019 attend the MEC Spring Meeting. Scheduled dates and times for your Local Council meeting and the MEC Meeting agenda will be posted on our website as they become available.




April 2019 Local Council Meeting Notice #2:

Date: Friday, April 12, 2019
Time: 1245-1545
Location: IAD Meeting Rooms Across from Baggage Claim #1, Main Terminal

April MEC Meeting Preview & Agenda Item Review (If any).

Old Business

New Business

Open Discussion/Member Forum

(Agenda Subject to Change)

ALL Members in Good Standing Are Encouraged To Attend!

Light Refreshments will be served.


(All) C21 April top Golf Event!

Following the Local Council Meeting.

Let's get to know each other.

Join us for a night of Food, Fun, and Friendship.

Please click the link below to RSVP


Friday, April 12, 2019


1700- 1900


Top Golf - Loudoun

20356Commonwealth Center Drive

Ashburn, VA 20147



Flight Attendant Union Statement on U.S. Grounding of 737 MAX:
Washington, D.C. (March 13, 2019)

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) President Sara Nelson released the following statement after the U.S. grounding of the 737 MAX fleet: 

“It is good news that the 737 MAX will now get the focus it needs to address the concerns of undetermined safety issues. We must focus on the needed fix, rather than the uncertainty of flight. 

“Lives must come first always. But a brand is at stake as well. And that brand is not just Boeing. It's America. What America means in international aviation and by extension in the larger world more generally—that we set the standard for safety, competence, and honesty in governance of aviation.  

“We must be leaders in safety always. We thank all who spoke up. Aviation workers will always stand up for safety. We have that ability and right through our union. It's important to recognize the critical role unions play in raising issues, demanding the best of ourselves, of management , and government.” 

Staffing Reductions Create Additional Challenges in Meeting Competing Priorities:

With recent staffing cuts, it goes without saying that we’re finding it difficult to juggle all of our competing priorities.  In particular, as we work to balance the needs of the passengers in our care and the needs of our fellow crew members on the flight deck, we are faced with making difficult decisions when weighing priorities.

Let’s face the facts. We’re not pilots and don’t fully understand their needs and responsibilities.  Our colleagues on the flight deck, no matter how considerate they may be in requesting our assistance for meals, bio-breaks, etc. there is never a good time for those requests to present themselves.  After all, our workload periods are completely opposite of each other. 

The reality is that our pilots have physiological needs which can’t be ignored. As such, we may need to find new ways to balance our obligations to the flight deck with delivering service to our passengers.  Good communication with the flight deck crew, from the beginning of the flight, is key.

By starting the conversation early about meal times and breaks, this provides us with the ability to address priorities mutually.  If the pilots have been flying all day, eating early may be a priority for our colleagues on the flight deck.  Talking about this and making it a priority from the start will eliminate the frustration of an unexpected interruption during our service.  And, when nature calls and our colleagues, who depend on us to facilitate these bio-breaks do call, while perhaps an interruption, we’ll have a much better sense that this is not intended. We are a team, and need to take care of each other.  We rely on each other in emergency situations and during the flight. There is a legitimate safety need to ensure the pilot’s physiological needs are provided for during the flight.  Communication, flexibility and teamwork go a long way in resolving any areas of misunderstanding and facilitating CLR.  

At the end of the day, pilots are our fellow crew members.  Treating our colleagues on the flight desk as we would like to be treated, beyond being considerate, is a critical part of our role in the safety of flight.  


COBUS Flight Attendants Performing Traditional Flight Attendant Work:

The issue of COBUS Flight Attendants working on Company Business assignments performing Flight Attendant specific duties continues to be source of constant friction. In accordance with SCOPE only working Flight Attendants should be performing duties on board the aircraft, that is, work traditionally performed by Flight Attendants. COBUS Flight Attendants who are interested in doing Flight Attendant work have the ability to do so by working a flight assignment.  If a Flight Attendant is late arriving, that’s the work of a standby Reserve – to perform boarding duties.  In other instances, the company is assigning COBUS Flight Attendants to assist with boarding duties on the aircraft.  If the company believes these personnel are necessary, why aren’t they staffing these Flight Attendants on the airplane?

AFA continues to advocate that Flight Attendants on Company Business should NOT be performing the work that has historically been consistent with that of a working Flight Attendant.

In situations where there is a last-minute addition to the working crew or the late arrival of a crew member remember you are to follow your FARs. Ensure that you are given the time to complete your safety checks and brief with your crew prior to door closure. We are safety professionals and the first responders. It is a FAR that we verify we have all the required items and complete safety checks before the door is closed.

How do you handle a SCOPE Violation on your working flight? Calmly and clearly advise anyone other than working Flight Attendants attempting to perform these duties that they are in violation of our Contract and ask them to stop. Reassure the COBUS Flight Attendants you have a plan, as a working crew, to complete all of the required work in an orderly fashion and ask them to stop impeding the completion of your duties. Remind all crew members they should file a Local Council Worksheet to help us track the incidents. If there is a safety or security related issue, file an IOR and ensure that a copy is provided to AFA. Only together can we ensure the enforcement of our contract, protect our jobs and ensure the proper staffing is onboard the aircraft. 

Reciprocal Cabin Seat Agreements:
MEC Communications Committee

Reciprocal Cabin Seats are AFA negotiated seating agreements with other airlines that allow United Flight Attendants to occupy an available cabin seat on that carrier free of any charge and, in exchange, United has agreed to “reciprocate” and accommodates Flight Attendants of these other airlines to occupy available cabin seats on United aircraft. 

Note:  These are cabin seat agreements, not cabin jumpseat agreements.

Reciprocal Cabin Agreements (RCA) should not be confused with company offered ID90 Travel agreements. RCA benefits are negotiated by your Union and are free from charge. Benefits are only available to the airline employee. Each reciprocal cabin seat agreement has unique guidelines associated with the participating airline. The guidelines include listing procedures, attire and check-in requirements. 

If you plan to take advantage of the opportunities these agreements provide, we encourage you to review the individual carrier policies and procedures by visiting the Reciprocal Travel Agreements page in the password secured, Members-only section of our unitedafa.org website. We continue to advocate for additional agreements and enhancements to these benefits.


Scholarship Opportunity Reminders  
MEC Communications Committee

Flight Attendants and their families are reminded of the following scholarship opportunities. Details concerning the individual scholarships, the application process and approaching deadlines are listed below. Early submission is encouraged in order to ensure your applications are received in time for consideration. 

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA Scholarship Funds

The deadline for applications is April 10, 2019. Details >

CWA Joe Beirne Foundation Scholarship
The deadline for applications is April 30, 2019.Details >

Captain Jason Dahl Scholarship FundDetails >

NEW! Gina Rose Montalto Memorial Foundation scholarships. Details >



Welcome, New Hire Class 1905!
MEC Communications Committee

On Friday, March 15, 2019 we welcomed the 50 graduating Members of class 1905 to the line. Our newest flying partners will be reporting to their respective bases at DEN, EWR, IAD and SFO on March 22, 2019, for orientation and will be available to fly on March 24, 2019. Please join us in welcoming the newest Members of our Flight Attendant community.

Additional Council Information

The information below is maintained and updated by your Local Council.

Council roster not available at this time.

Washington DC skyline