Representing the Flight Attendants
of American Airlines

Representing the Flight Attendants of American Airlines

9.13.02 – (LAA) – Aviation Cargo Security Improvement Act, Proffer for Overage Leaves and Partnership Flying Closes, 9/11 Memorials

Today is Wednesday, September 18, 2002. This is APFA Communications Coordinator George Price with a special APFA HotLine Update.

Late this afternoon, APFA learned that Senator Jean Carnahan of Missouri has decided not to introduce her amendment to the Aviation Cargo Security Improvement Act intended to abrogate the TWA Seniority Integration Agreement. APFA would like to thank Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas for her support in this matter. The APFA would also like to recognize our members for their prompt response to this call to action. APFA will monitor events in Washington in order to keep you updated. We will report information as it becomes available.

APFA and American Airlines met today to review the Overage Leaves and Partnership Flying awards. The exact numbers of the awards by base will be released tomorrow and will be posted on the APFA Web site.

The entire overage at American Airlines crew bases was eliminated through the award of one-year, seven-month, and some six-month key blocks. There was no Partnership Flying awarded.

The originally projected overage of 950 TWA-LLC Flight Attendants was reduced to 767 prior to the awards. The overage of 767 was further reduced to 531 through the awarding of Overage Leaves in key blocks of one-year, six-months, and some auxiliary blocks. There were approximately 25 Partnerships awarded at STL. It is APFA’s hope that the remaining overage of 531 will be further reduced through the Overage Leaves being awarded in October for commencement in November.

Due to the Overage Leaves awarded, the TWA-LLC overage for October was reduced by 180. This will allow the 180 senior most TWA-LLC Flight Attendants who originally received furlough notices to be eligible to bid for Overage Leaves in the next round of bidding. The Overage Leave proffer for STL only will open on the morning of Monday, September 23rd and will close on October 3rd.

All American Airlines and TWA-LLC Flight Attendants awarded Overage Leaves will have an “OL” placed in their HI10 later this evening. Those awarded Partnership Flying will be advised via an HI6 e-mail.

As a reminder to those Flight Attendants who are awarded an Overage Leave and have vacation during their leave, you will need to paper bid for the month your vacation is scheduled. You will do this through the “paper bid” option on the bid ballot.

That is it for this special edition of the APFA HotLine. This hotline will be updated on Friday. Please visit the web site for the latest information.

 

This is APFA National Communications Coordinator George Price with an APFA HotLine Update for Monday, September 16, 2002.

The proffer for Overage Leaves and Partnership Flying closed this morning, Monday, September 16, at 0800 Central Time. We expect the Overage Leave award process to be finalized no later than Friday, September 20. APFA and American Airlines have meetings scheduled this week to review the awards process.

If you have been awarded an Overage Leave, the code “OL” will appear on your HI10. Those Flight Attendants awarded Partnership Flying will receive an HI6 message from Crew Resources.

This hotline will be updated as events warrant. Please stay on the line for the Friday, September 13, 2002 APFA HotLine.

 

Hello. Today is Friday, September 13, 2002. This is George Price, APFA National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA HotLine.

September 11th was an extraordinary day for us all. There were so many events around the country that it would be impossible to report on each one in the time we have for this HotLine. APFA Representatives spent the day offering peer support at many bases around the system as well as on the phone from APFA Headquarters. APFA President John Ward, Treasurer Juan Johnson, and other representatives attended ceremonies at the Pentagon and on the Mall in Washington, D.C., and in New York City. APFA Vice President Jeff Bott was at a service in Washington Square and also attended the ceremonies at Ground Zero in New York. Memorial services were held in cities from coast to coast. APFA members were at each one in order to remember our fallen heroes. No matter how large or how small the event, the crewmembers that gave their lives so valiantly in the line of duty were remembered in very special ways.

American Airlines and TWA-LLC Flight Attendants will be receiving a pamphlet in the mail produced by Kaiser Permanente in conjunction with AFA. This pamphlet was designed to help crewmembers deal with the trauma and stress brought on by the events of September 11, 2001. APFA felt the information contained in the pamphlet was very beneficial so when it was offered to us free of charge and postage paid, we accepted. Services specific to APFA members can be found at the back of the pamphlet.

If you have pictures of any events held on September 11th and would like to share them with the APFA membership, please send a copy of the actual photo to APFA Communications Department, 1004 West Euless Blvd., Euless, Texas 76040. Please be sure to identify the event and any Flight Attendants in the photos. Unless specifically requested, all photos will become a part of the APFA Archives.

As a reminder, the deadline to submit the Critical Incident Stress Management Survey included in the June issue of Skyword is October 1, 2002. If you have not completed your survey, please do so. If you no longer have a copy and would like to participate, please go to the APFA Web site at www.www.apfa.org and click on “Hot Topics” to obtain a copy or call the APFA Membership Department at 800-395-2732, extension 8153, to request a copy.

APFA and American are in talks to allow Flight Attendants interested in taking Article 30 (Early Retirement) to do so without having to provide the six-month notification. Article 30 allows Flight Attendants ages 45-55 with a minimum of 20 years of service to take early retirement. They will receive a $25,000 lump sum minus applicable taxes, 10 round-trip “D-2” passes with service charges per year, limited term life insurance, and $20,000 in health coverage for the Flight Attendant, their spouse, and dependent children until age 65 or until Medicare coverage begins. Flight Attendants electing to take Article 30 will still be eligible for pension benefits as outlined in Article 36 of the APFA/AAL Collective Bargaining Agreement. Article 30-Early Retirement can be found on Pages 299-301 of the Contract.

The proffer for Overage Leaves and Partnership Flying will close on September 16, 2002, at 0800 CDT. There is a great deal of information regarding Overage Leaves and Partnership Flying immediately following this HotLine and on the APFA Web site.

APFA would like to clarify one issue that seems to be of some concern to those interested in taking an Overage Leave. Flight Attendants must be fingerprinted by November 25th or by the time their leave commences, whichever is earlier, or their Overage Leave will be forfeited. In some bases, fingerprinting will no longer be offered at airport facilities after September 15th. If this applies to your base, you will need to check with your local flight service management to find out where you will need to go to complete the fingerprinting process.

There have been some questions as to why the breakdown of Overage Leaves being offered at each base has not been posted. American has not released these numbers in part because the November schedule has not been finalized. As was done in the fall of 2001 and the spring of 2002, the Overage Leaves being offered and the number awarded will be released at the same time. When the awards are final, APFA will be post them on the web site and announce them on the hotline. APFA Representatives will be present during the entire award process.

APFA Scheduling Coordinator Jena Hopkins would like to remind all Flight Attendants that the APFA and American have agreed to new make-up procedures and the use of HISEND to request specific assignments for the following day. Highlights include:

  • Flight Attendants on the Make-up List may utilize HISEND to request and confirm a specific assignment, subject to restrictions.
  • Only first-party requests will be accepted and the request must be specific in nature.
  • Flight Attendants will not be awarded sequences based on HISEND messages containing generic requests.
  • If based on a HISEND message, a Flight Attendant is awarded a trip sequence prior to 1900 local base time; s/he will be considered notified of such assignment.

Terms of this letter will become effective October 1, 2002. The complete text of the letter can be found on the APFA Web site under the Scheduling Page and “Hot Topics.” The entire letter is included in the Scheduling article in the September issue of Skyword that was mailed on Thursday, September 12th.

The APFA Safety Department would once again like to remind all Flight Attendants that the Company is offering voluntary self-defense classes at most bases. Flight Attendants may sign up for these classes through the Flight Service Web site. APFA Safety Representatives have attended these classes and feel they are very worthwhile.

APFA Representatives including members from DCA, DCAI, MIA, and IDF as well as APFA President John Ward and Treasurer Juan Johnson lobbied members of Congress on September 9th and 10th. The timing of this lobby effort could not have been better. Just the day before, the U.S. Senate had overwhelmingly passed the Boxer-Smith Amendment to the Homeland Security bill, which contained many provisions very important to Flight Attendants that were also contained in a previously passed House bill. The group was fortunate enough in many cases to meet with actual members of the House and Senate in order to convey our concerns and reiterate the need for continued enhancement to safety and security at the various airports and throughout the airline industry. During the many meetings, APFA Representatives were asked for their personal opinion of the state of security, how they felt the government had done in addressing the various issues post September 11th, and what APFA members felt could be done to make things better. The group also had the chance to mention that we are facing further reduction in force due to the financial state of the airline industry. This was of particular interest to members of Congress in that hearings will be held at the end of September on this issue.

The issue of guns in the cockpit has been the topic of great debate within Congress and among those in the airline industry. Please keep in mind that the bills that contain provisions for arming Pilots also contain the security provisions for Flight Attendants that the APFA does support.

The APFA has a Furlough Page on the APFA Web site, which contains a great deal of information and links to important resources for those who will be affected by reduction in force. One of the links is to job opportunities. The APFA is asking all members throughout the system to forward any job opportunities they feel our furloughed members would be interested in to Communications@apfa.org.

APFA LGA Representatives in cooperation with LGA Flight Service will conduct a furlough meeting on Monday, September 16, 2002, in Room 213 at LGA Airport.

Election Day is November 5th. In the coming weeks, the APFA is going to begin a campaign to encourage our membership to register to vote if they have not already, update their voting precincts if they have recently moved, register to vote absentee just in case they may be scheduled to fly, and vote early if that option is available in their state. APFA has updated our “Government Page” on the web site to include online Voter Registration sites. The balance of power in our country is at stake in this election. Those of us in aviation labor face some very serious issues such as “third party arbitration” or “baseball arbitration” as it is referred to, safety and security issues, and possible Flight Attendant certification. We must elect candidates that will be willing to support our position on these issues. Along these same lines, we encourage our members to donate to the APFA Political Action Committee or PAC. A great deal of information regarding our PAC was in the August issue of Skyword. PAC funds are separate and apart from union dues. They are funds that come from voluntary donations from members. To begin donations to the APFA PAC, please see the PAC page on the APFA web site or complete the PAC donation card in the center section of the August Skyword.

We would like everyone to know that the Dues Department is planning to print an updated list of those in dues arrears in the November/December issue of Skyword. Please make sure any dues obligations are paid in full or that you are current on a payment plan to keep your name off of the list.

 

In Industry News:

American Airlines announced August traffic decreased .3% from a year ago on a capacity decrease of 6.5%. The system load factor was 66.2%, which was up 4.1 points from August 2001.

Moody’s Investors Service downgraded American’s unsecured debt ratings last week. The downgrade effects $12.6 billion of debt, which can increase American’s borrowing costs. Moody representatives were quoted as saying that American’s revenues are under increasing pressure caused by year-over-year declines in passenger traffic and the continued decline in premium passenger demand.

Northwest has informed employees at that airline they intend to unilaterally change healthcare costs for employees. The change will increase employee costs for family coverage by $2,000 a year.

Delta Air Lines announced they will discontinue flights between Atlanta and Rio and Atlanta and Buenos Aires.

Midwest Express has reported they will lose more than expected this year. As a result, the airline plans to eliminate 200 to 250 jobs by the end of the year.

Marion Blakey, former NTSB Chairperson, was overwhelmingly confirmed by the Senate as the new FAA Administrator.

Talks between the United States and the United Kingdom regarding “open skies” have broken down once again. The United States feels that the U.K. wants too much access to U.S. domestic markets in exchange for more liberal access to London’s Heathrow airport.

That is it for this week’s APFA HotLine. For the latest information, please visit the APFA Web site. Now, please stay on the line for more information on Overage Leaves and Partnership Flying.

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