Hello. This is George Price, APFA National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Friday, October 31, 2003.
American Airlines has informed the APFA that the 2004 Benefits Enrollment has been extended until Monday, November 3rd at 2359 Central Time, due to computer problems experienced with the enrollment system.
A report published in the Dallas Morning News on Thursday, October 30, 2003, reviewed the various schedule changes American Airlines plans to institute in the coming months. American said that in 2004, the overall schedule would increase by as much as 6 percent due to schedule changes and seat reconfiguration. New routes not currently flown by the airline will make up as much as twenty-five percent of all new flying. It was also reported in this article that American would begin preparing a number of MD-80 aircraft presently in storage for flying in the new year.
The Safety Department encourages all Flight Attendants to continuously monitor the SSI Web site, which is accessible through the Flight Service Web site, for updated security and safety information. Flight Attendants are urged to remain vigilant at all times whether on the airplane, in the terminal, or on a layover. Follow all safety and security rules and regulations. Report any suspicious behavior or any security violations to the Captain, the agent, or your nearest law enforcement agency.
The Safety Department also reminds Flight Attendants they must obtain a TSA-mandated ID badge prior to November 15th, 2003. Per the TSA, Flight Attendants who fail to meet this deadline will not be permitted to fly.
In Washington, D. C., this week, the House of Representatives passed the FAA Reauthorization bill. The version of the bill, which was passed contains provisions for Flight Attendant certification, but unfortunately does not include language that mandates security training for Flight Attendants using TSA guidelines. Despite intense lobbying by the APFA and other Flight Attendant unions and support from key members of the House, a one word change in the language that essentially leaves such training in the hands of the individual airlines was left in the final version of the House bill. This one word change was brought about by the lobbying efforts of Continental Airlines and the Air Transport Association. ATA spokesperson Doug Wills said recently that, “Flight Attendants were never meant or intended to be protection for passengers in this post-9/11 world.” Apparently, ATA believes that the security of passengers rests solely with Federal Air Marshals who are aboard only a small percentage of commercial flights. The Senate is expected to take up the FAA Reauthorization bill soon. Democrats in the Senate have threatened to filibuster if the bill is presented to the Senate in its present form. To view the letters of support by members of Congress, visit the Hot Topics page of the APFA Web site.
In other Washington news, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have begun a campaign to expand federal unemployment benefits for furloughed employees. Representative Darlene Hooley (D-OR) took steps to bring about a floor vote on House Bill 3244, which would grant 26 extra weeks of federally funded unemployment insurance to individuals who have already exhausted their 26 weeks of state-provided benefits. As was reported on this Hotline, Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts has sponsored a similar bill in the Senate (S. 1708). All Flight Attendants, whether active or furloughed, are encouraged to contact their Representative and their Senators to urge support of these Bills. Contact information for all members of Congress can be found on the Government Affairs page of the web site. Members can also access Capwiz on the Government Affairs page and locate their Representative and Senators simply by providing their Zip Code.
The Adecco field office at AMR Headquarters will close on November 1, 2003. The services offered by Adecco will continue to be available to former American Airlines and TWA employees at other field offices throughout the country. Information on Adecco can be found on the Furlough page of the APFA Web site and at aacareers.com.
The APFA Roommate Finder is up and running for those Flight Attendants being recalled on December 2nd who might be looking for a roommate(s). The Finder can be accessed through the link on the opening page of the APFA Web site.
The Company has informed the APFA that they are working to restore access to the Flight Service Web site and SABRE by November 1st for Flight Attendants scheduled for recall December 2. Jetnet access will be restored by December 2nd.
The APFA will publish an updated Dues Arrears list in the first Skyword published in 2004. If you are in dues arrears and would like to avoid having your name included on this list, please contact the APFA Dues Department at 1-800-395-2732, Extension 8151, to make payment arrangements.
From the APFA Communications Department: In order to access any information in the member’s only section of the APFA Web site, you must be dues current. If you are having problems accessing ‘members only,’ you should contact the APFA Dues Department to ensure that you are in fact dues current.
The Willingness-to-Serve Notifications for APFA National Officers are included in the October 2003 issue of Skyword. This issue was mailed on Monday, October 27th, and is now posted on the APFA Web site. The National Officer Willingness-to-Serves are due in the designated Post Office Box by 1000 Central Time on December 10, 2003. Ballots for APFA National Officers will be mailed on December 29, 2003, and will be due back by January 29, 2004. Questions regarding the Willingness-to-Serve should be directed to the APFA National Ballot Committee at Extension 8311 at APFA Headquarters.
In Industry News:
Delta Air Lines this week presented its Pilots with a mid-contract proposal. Delta management claims that Pilot costs at that airline are $1 billion per-year more than its closest rivals in the industry. ALPA, the union representing Delta Pilots, said it was in receipt of the proposal and would take time to analyze it before responding.
Pilots at America West have reached a tentative contract agreement with their company. No details of the new agreement have been released. Nearly 73 percent of the Pilots at America West rejected a tentative agreement last March.
For more airline industry news, please visit the News and Events page of the APFA Web site.
That is it for this edition of the APFA Hotline. Please visit the web site for the latest news and past editions of the Hotline.
There are 6,150 American Airlines Flight Attendants currently on furlough.