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Update To Employee Travel Effective June 30, 2020

Date: June 27, 2020


MEC Safety Health and Security

Yesterday, June 25, 2020 United announced their intent to lift the July 1, 2020 NRSA 70% travel cap and the termination of positive space for Flight Attendants commuting to/from work effective, 23:59 p.m. CT, June 30. 

The company’s employee travel and social distancing policies includes the following:

Lifting NRSA cap effective July 1. We will return to normal NRSA clearing at the gate with no capping restrictions beginning on all flights as of July 1.  

Ending the need for positive space travel for Inflight commuters as of July 1. Since we will not be capping NRSA travel, positive space will no longer be needed or offered for flight attendants commuting to/from work after 23:59 p.m. CT on June 30. Positive space bookings for travel after July 2 will automatically be cancelled, and you will need to rebook as space available travel as required. If you have an existing roundtrip booking where the outbound flight is before July 3 and the return is after, the entire PNR will be cancelled, requiring you to rebook the outbound flight only. 

Processing of Complimentary Premier Upgrades will return to normal, advance clearing where possible (instead of at the gate the day of departure), with flights on July 8. 

Continuing to block seats near crew rest locations. In addition, we are working with the FAA, A4A and AFA to review the alternative jumpseat locations and additional seat blocks around the jumpseat and will provide an update as those are available.  

Continuing back-to-front boarding and front-to-back deplaning process. Customer service representatives will continue to call customers to board by row, starting from the rear of the aircraft to the front. Customers eligible for pre-boarding including customers with disabilities, UMNRs, active military, Global Services, 1K and families traveling with children are welcome to board at any point during the boarding process. Customers who wish to board before their row is called (such as Premier members, Chase cardholders and premium cabin customers) may do so. 

Upon arrival at the gate and after the seatbelt sign has been turned off, approximately five rows at a time will be able to exit the aircraft, using a front-to-back approach. Customers will also be asked to maintain a safe distance between themselves and others as they deplane.  

Continuing to notify customers on regularly scheduled flights that we expect to be fairly full. We’ll continue to do our best to reach out to customers about 24 hours prior to departure to notify them that their flight might be more full than expected and allow them to choose to rebook on a different flight or receive a travel credit. To date, the overwhelming majority of customers have chosen to keep their travel plans the same when presented with these options.

Continuing to isolate customers who may become ill during the flight. We’ve outlined a process for isolating sick customers on board, as needed, in line with our medical advisors at MedLink.

  1. During the flight, if a customer appears to be symptomatic notify the Captain and contact MedLink.
  2. 2.Leave the symptomatic customer in their current seat providing 2 rows empty in front of and behind them, reseat the adjacent customers to open seats. 
      • When moving more than 3 customers on a narrowbody or 10 customers on a widebody aircraft, attempt to reseat an equal number of customers forward and aft of their original seat assignments for weight and balance. If this is not possible, the Purser should notify the flight deck to review with Load Planning.

        3. If there are no other open seats, use the seats blocked near the economy galleys and jumpseats. 

        4. If customers express concern with moving seats, inform them of the CDC guidance to move customers away from the ill customer. If needed, use the In the Moment Care feature in your Inflight Services app to provide goodwill compensation for voluntarily moving seats. You can also flag the customers in the In the Moment Care app to request “Customer Care follow-up” if further follow-up is needed. If In the Moment Care is used, include a note in the comments section advising this is related to COVID-19.


    Additional information can be found in the July 25, 2020 safety alert.

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