This is APFA President John Ward with a special APFA HotLine for Tuesday, November 12, 2002.
Today marks the one-year anniversary of the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 which killed 265 people including, seven JFK Flight Attendants and two New York based cockpit crewmembers.
The APFA National Officers, along with many other APFA Representatives, will join family members, friends, and co-workers of those lost on Flight 587 at 1300 for a memorial service in their honor at the JFK Ramada Plaza Hotel Grand Ballroom near JFK Airport.
Please remember today and always those that we lost on November 12, 2001: Captain Ed States, First Officer Sten Molin, Deborah Fontakis, Barbara Giannasca, Wilmer Gonzales, Carol Palm, Joe Lopes, Michele Mills, and William Valdespino.
Thank you for calling. Please stay on the line for the latest edition of the APFA HotLine.
Hello. Today is Friday, November 8, 2002. This is George Price, APFA National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA HotLine.
The APFA Board of Directors will meet on Wednesday, November 13th in Washington, D.C. The meeting will be held at the Hilton Crystal City. It is scheduled to begin at 0900. The Quarterly Executive Committee Meeting will be held on Thursday, November 14th beginning at 0930 in the same location. All APFA members in good standing are welcome to attend all open portions of both meetings.
The Communications Department has received several e-mails and calls from Flight Attendants this week regarding rumors circulating on the line. They have ranged from totally farfetched to simple misunderstandings. Please discourage the passing along of information that cannot be substantiated. Question the source of all information you hear on the line. Do not speculate. Please check your information with the APFA Hotline, InfoRep HotLine, Skyword, and the APFA Web site. The Web site also has an aviation daily news page that is updated as news about the industry becomes available. You can also rely on information from the various American Airlines information sources.
For those Flight Attendants who were furloughed on October 13 and November 1 comes this information from the APFA Health Department. You will soon receive a packet of information from Complink regarding medical coverage under COBRA. A few important points to remember:
- Medical coverage after furlough is guaranteed but not automatic. You must make application through Complink. Instructions are included in the information packet you will receive from Complink.
- The premiums quoted in the packet will reflect the full COBRA rates; however, the rate for the first 90 days will be at active employee rates. The amount of the full COBRA coverage will be reduced by the payment coupons you will receive from Complink. Dental coverage will be at full COBRA rates for the full 18 months of COBRA.
- Any expense incurred during the first 90 days will be covered once medical elections are made as long as the employee applies for coverage.
- Furloughed Flight Attendants will have until November 29, 2002 to enroll.
More information on COBRA and the links and phone numbers to Complink can be found on the Furlough Page of the APFA Web site.
The Texas Workforce Commission will be conducting Rapid Response Meetings at the American Airlines Learning Center on November 12-14. These meetings will include information on unemployment benefits, insurance, finances, coping with change, and more. For more information on these meetings, please call Jeannie Tristan at 817-737-0311 or access the information on the Furlough Page of the APFA Web site under “Job Opportunities.” The Rapid Response Meetings are open to all AMR employees that have been affected by reduction in force.
Per Article 9.B of the Contract, American Airlines has notified the APFA that effective December 15, 2002 the following staffing formulas will apply to the 767 2-class aircraft:
- On all international Flagship Service flights, the current staffing formula will apply: -Bid 8 positions and add position #9 at a main cabin load of 70
- On all flights to and from Hawaiian destinations, the current 767 staffing formula will apply: -Bid 8, with no variable manning position
- On all American Flagship Service flights the following will apply: -Bid 7 positions and add position #8 at a main cabin load of 70
- On Domestic, Mexico, Caribbean, and Latin Flagship service flights the following staffing formula will apply: -Bid 6 positions -Add position #7 with First Class food service -Add position #8 with Main Cabin food service and total load of 165
All International 767 qualified Flight Attendants will be required to complete a web based training course on the new 767 2-class Business Class service. The course will be accessible through the Flight Service Web site beginning November 18th. Flight Attendants must complete the training by January 13th.
The company also notified the APFA of the schedule for the elimination of the SOS and AAchievers Programs. Both programs ended on November 7th. The last day to deposit AAchievers Points will be December 6, 2002. The employee redemption period will end on January 31, 2003 for the SOS Program and June 30, 2003 for the AAchievers Program. A complete breakdown of the “Wind Down Schedule” can be found under “Hot Topics” on the APFA Web site.
A Memorial Service will be held for the crew of American Airlines Flight 587 on Tuesday, November 12th at 1300. APFA’s National Officers will be in attendance. The service will be held at the JFK Ramada Plaza Hotel Grand Ballroom. The hotel is located at the entrance to JFK Airport off of the Van Wyck Expressway.
Willingness-to-Serve Notifications for Chairperson and Vice Chairperson for the ISL base were mailed to all ISL Flight Attendants today, November 8, 2002. They must be received in the designated Post Office Box by 1000 Central Time on December 8, 2002.
In Industry News:
- We will start the week on a positive note. Most of the major airlines reported positive October traffic results. American Airlines reported system-wide traffic for October increased 25.8 percent from October 2001, on a capacity increase of 8.6 percent. The systemwide load factor was 68.5 percent, which was up 9.4 points from a year ago. International traffic was up 36.5 percent compared to the same time in 2001.
- American held a Wall Street Briefing on Wednesday to review its strategies and detail its plan to reduce $2 billion in costs. AMR Chief Financial Officer Jeff Campbell said that American would have fewer flights to U.S. cities in 2003 and fly 16% fewer flights next summer compared to summer 2001. He said that flights would remain flat as American added more international flights.
AMR CEO Don Carty listed five strategies:
- Better relations with the various employee unions.
- Save money through deferral of aircraft deliveries and halting of capital spending projects.
- Restructuring over the long haul through redeployment of existing aircraft to more profitable international routes.
- Seek financial relief from the Federal Government.
- Run a great airline.
The airline will also rely more heavily on technology and automation in the future as a way to reduce cost.
Please see the APFA Web site for more details of the company’s announcements.
- American announced that it had entered into agreement with IBM to offer safety and security based training to Flight Attendants through IBM’s e-Learning Software. The new software will allow the company to realize more efficiency and cost savings in the area of Flight Service Training in the future.
- American Eagle announced Wednesday that it would sell of Executive Airlines, the Eagle operation based in Miami and San Juan. The sale is expected to be complete by the first quarter of 2003. Industry analysts estimate the sale could bring American as much as $700 million. Peter Bowler, President of American Eagle, said the sale meets several objectives. Among them are to maintain compliance with the SCOPE provisions of the APA/American Airlines Collective Bargaining Agreement and to preserve jobs that would have been lost by parking planes to comply with the APA Agreement. The announcement of the sale met with objections from ALPA, the union representing the Pilots of American Eagle and the Allied Pilots Association representing the Pilots of American Airlines. More information on the sale of Executive Airlines can be found on Jetnet. American Eagle Flight Attendants, including those at Executive Airlines, are represented by the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA).
- Pilots at United Airlines have begun voting by phone on their 2.2 billion dollar concession package reached with their airline. Other unions at United continue to negotiate similar packages with the airline.
- National Airlines shut down its full operation on Wednesday after negotiations for financing broke down.
- The Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA) has filed with the National Mediation Board for a representation election on behalf of the mechanics and related employees at Southwest Airlines.
That’s it for this week’s edition of the APFA HotLine. For the latest information, please visit the APFA Web site. Remember, there are 2,124 Flight Attendants now on furlough.