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E-Lines: March 12, 2019

Date: March 12, 2019

ET302 Update

Over the course of the past few days, your MEC Officers have been closely monitoring the accident involving ET302 as well as the responses from around the world.  We have been in frequent contact with our AFA International Office where our staff and AFA International Officers have been in touch with the various regulatory agencies to not only learn about potential findings but to maintain our focus on the appropriate investigative measures that must be taken to ensure continued public confidence in our aviation industry and the safety of passengers and our Members. We have also been in contact with senior management at United to ensure they are aware we are monitoring the accident and investigative process.  Additionally, we’ve also consulted with ALPA to get a better understanding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and its technology. 

It is understandable that as time passes and in the absence of information on Sunday’s accident, more questions than answers arise.  Be assured, we will continue to monitor the investigation process and remain in frequent contact with United management and we will respond appropriately as circumstances change.  We will continue to work collaboratively with management to care for Flight Attendants and will address issues as they arise.

If you have concerns or just need to talk, contact either your Local Council office or EAP/Professional Standards at 800 424 2406.

Contractual Paid Holidays during Easter Season for Flight Attendants Based in UK and Germany
JCBA Sections 2.Q and 4.I

Our Contract stipulates that Flight Attendants receive additional pay for flight assignments flown on designated holidays as outlined in Section 2.Q. Flight Attendants based in the United Kingdom & Germany who fly on their designated Easter holiday will be paid holiday pay as set forth in Section 4.I. of our JCBA.  

Additionally, when a Flight Attendant’s birthday falls on a contractual paid holiday and the Flight Attendant chooses to fly a trip on that day, they will receive pay for both holidays (ex: United Kingdom and Germany based Flight Attendants flying on the designated Easter holiday and the Flight Attendants Birthday is on the same day). Pay will be calculated in the same manner for each of the holidays.

Section 2.Q of our JCBA details the designated holidays that provide Flight Attendants with the option to earn Holiday Pay within the provisions of our contract. The United Kingdom observes Easter Monday while Frankfurt observes Easter (Sunday).

Spring Break and Increased Unaccompanied Minor UMNR Travel 

March is the official kick-off of the spring break travel season and with that comes the challenges associated with increased passenger volumes, new destinations, family travelers and the added responsibility of caring for unaccompanied minors (UMNRs) who have been entrusted to our care.

In an effort to enhance the safety and to ensure the care of our young travelers, United issued a revision to our eFAOM on February 1, 2019 to include a limit on the number of UMNRs per flight and a preferred seating location. Previously, not only were UMNRs seating locations scattered throughout the cabin, there were no limits as to how many unaccompanied children were allowed to travel on a single flight. However, as part of this new procedure we will begin to see UMNRs primarily sitting in an aisle seat in the rear of the aircraft, which will help you provide better oversight onboard and ensure that the UMNRs do not deplane prematurely on arrival.  

During the next quarter Flight Attendants can look for cohesiveness between all company divisions to include this new policy. We encourage Flight Attendants to continue
to apply the concepts of Communicate, Accommodate, Remind and Escort, - C.A.R.E. anytime a UMNR is in your care. Always follow proper procedures for securing and handing off UMNRs to other custodial employees or family members.

Flight Attendants are encouraged to utilize the My Flights and Inflight Services apps that offer enhanced icons in an effort to differentiate UMNRs locations. Watch for additional changes to UMNR program which are scheduled throughout the spring and summer and refer to your eFAOM for additional details

Talk About It, Don’t Write It Up – Call Professional Standards First 
Employee Assistance / Professional Standards

There has been an increase in the number of employees reporting personal conflicts with fellow employees to management rather than trying to resolve issues with the assistance of our Union EAP/Professional Standards Volunteers. As a reminder, when you go to management to report a flying partner or another airline employee the consequences can be severe and you should be aware these events rarely turn out as you might expect they would. The Professional Standards component of AFA EAP exists to assist Flight Attendants in any area that affects professional conduct. As part of AFA’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP), we have trained Professional Standards volunteers available to you in every Local Council. After listening to your concerns, EAP representatives will follow up on the situation and pursue the appropriate action necessary.

The AFA EAP is a voluntary and confidential service of your Union which relies on the peer professionals who volunteer their time in the service of us all. We can help to work it out and avoid “writing up” flying partners where, no matter how well intended, both parties may then potentially be subject to disciplinary action. Let’s keep each other safe, after all we are family. To contact your Local EAP/Professional Standards Representatives visit
unitedafa.org. All contact is strictly confidential.

Note: Because confidentiality is the cornerstone of AFA’s Employee Assistance Program, Committee representatives will not report back to you concerning any fellow employee or any recommendations that were made during any follow-up conversations.

Additional information is available on unitedafa.org

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.


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