3.05.04 – (LAA) – Ballots for APFA National Officer Runoff Election Due, BOD Convention, Crew Scheduling

Hello. Today is Friday, March 5, 2004. This is George Price, APFA National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline.

Ballots for the APFA National Officer runoff election are due by 0900 Central Time on March 10th. Ballots will be counted at the Radisson Hotel DFW South. Members in good standing are welcome to attend the ballot count. The results of the election will be announced on this hotline by a member of the National Ballot Committee and posted on the APFA Web site as soon as the results are certified. Please understand that it could be very late in the evening before results will be available.

The Annual APFA Board of Directors Convention concluded this week in Boston. It was a very full week. The Awards and Recognition Dinner on the first night of the Convention included an address by Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank. AMR CEO Gerard Arpey, Vice President of In-Flight Service Lauri Curtis, and other members of AMR management addressed the Board on Wednesday. The APFA Board tackled a wide-range of issues during the course of their five-day meeting including reduced layover rest, approval of the 2005 fiscal budget, appointments to the APFA Budget and National Ballot Committees, election of Cheryl Walters from IDF and Steve Ellis from STL as Ad Hoc members of the Executive Committee, and many other items of new business. The minutes of the meeting and all resolutions of the Board will soon be posted on the APFA Web site.

On Monday, the Board passed Resolution 2, which added another component to APFA’s existing campaign to deal with the issue of reduced layover rest. The membership will soon receive a letter from APFA that outlines our efforts to date and stresses the importance of completing the two surveys on fatigue currently posted on the APFA Web site. It is very important that all members take a moment to complete both of the fatigue surveys on the web site as it is essential that APFA have as much documentation as possible when discussing the issue of fatigue and reduced layover rest with members of Congress and government agencies. Please encourage your flying partners to complete the surveys.

Remember, you must be an APFA member in good standing to access information including the surveys that are on the members only section of the web site. In order to access the members only section, you need only provide your employee number and password. Unless you have changed your password, this will be the last four digits of your Social Security Number. If you have problems signing on, simply click the “Report Log-In Problems” under the “Contact Us” icon.

Many Flight Attendants have expressed their concerns when their already short layover rest period is interrupted by a call from Crew Tracking or Crew Schedule. In order to minimize interruptions to your layover rest periods, the AA-APFA Joint Scheduling Committee have agreed to the following:

If you arrive at your layover station and are projected for less than 8 hours between duty periods, you may use the following formula to determine your new sign-in time: Block-in time of last leg of current duty period plus 8:15 domestic or 8:30 international will equal your new sign-in time for your next duty period. Crew tracking will not call you to advise of the delayed departure time in order to prevent an interruption of your layover. This only pertains to delayed departures for required rest. If your limo is provided by the hotel, please coordinate with the hotel directly as to your new pickup time the next morning. If it is a contract limo service, please contact the Hotel/Limo desk via VIP Crew to establish your new pick up time. If you are unable to quickly resolve any transportation issues via the Hotel/Limo desk, contact Crew Tracking for immediate resolution. Please continue to write up any problem associated with hotel/limo transportation issues.

As a reminder, primary vacation bids will now close at 0700 Central Time on March 8th. Secondary vacation bidding will open at 1800 Central Time on March 15th and will close at 0700 Central Time on March 23rd. The 777 vacation award bidding will begin on March 30th at 1800 Central Time and will close on April 4th at 1800 Central Time. For information on the 2004-2005 vacations, please review Attachments C and D of the Restructuring Agreement, which can be found on the APFA Web site under “Resource Center” then “APFA/AAL Collective Bargaining Agreement.” Additional information can be found under “Hot Topics” on the APFA Web site and on the Flight Service Web site. Various events and important dates to remember are posted on the “Calendar” on the APFA Web site. It is a good idea to refer to this page each time you visit the web site.

The Contract Department would like to remind you that EPTs must be scheduled prior to modifying your schedule. All Flight Attendants must attend EPTS in their base month. If you are unable to attend EPTs in your base month due to vacation, illness, injury or personal or operational emergency, you will not be assigned to a training slot during your grace month. However, you must contact the Training Department prior to modifying your schedule to enroll in a training class.

If you did not attend EPTs in your base month for any other reason, the Training Department will assign you to a training class within 72 hours following bid initialization, provided that the trip selection you hold in your grace month is scheduled with 2 D.O.s back-to-back. You must contact the Training Department to permit the rescheduling of your Duty-Free periods in order to schedule 2 D.O.s back-to-back. Once again, this must be done prior to modifying your schedule. If you are unable to enroll in a class in your grace month due to no class availability, you may be QI (Qualification Illegality) for the subsequent month. Once you have completed your training in the subsequent month, you will be given an availability schedule for the rest of the month. Keep in mind that you will only be paid for what you fly, and if you are QI for more than 16 days, you will be responsible for paying the premiums of your insurance.

The Training Department will only remove you from a trip with pay and credit to attend EPTs provided that you were unable to attend training for circumstances beyond your control. There are different scenarios that warrant an unpaid and uncredited trip removal. For this reason, each scenario is resolved differently. To avoid losing time or being QI, we encourage you to schedule your EPTs prior to modifying your schedule. Please read Pages 130 and 131 of the 2001 Contract for more information.

American has made no definitive decision on the resumption of service to Port-Au-Prince. The APFA will continue to work with SOC, Corporate Security, and APA to monitor the situation and will report information as it becomes available. If you were scheduled to fly to Port-Au-Prince since the beginning of the month and have had your trip or trips cancel, you should review the misconnection, illegality, and cancellation language in Article I.9.P.6.

From the APFA Health Department: Flight Attendants are being denied benefits that they are entitled to when injured due to turbulence due to terminology used in Pilot’s OF25 reports. It is very important for our Pilots to use proper verbiage when completing an OF25 when a Flight Attendant is injured on their flight due to turbulence. It would be advantageous to our injured Flight Attendants if the Pilots, in completing the OF25, use the words “Rough Air” as opposed to “clear air turbulence,” “moderate chop” and/or “moderate turbulence.” We certainly understand why Pilots shy away from using terminology such as “severe turbulence” in cases where the aircraft does not need to be inspected and in some cases removed from service. However, if they write up the experience as “clear air turbulence” or use the word “moderate” in their description, the Flight Attendant will be denied contractual full pay continuance for a work related injury.

It has come to the APFA’s attention that the Company is closely monitoring pass usage by employees. For this reason, it is very important that all employees keep track of the number of passes used. A feature on the travel section of Jetnet provides employees with a detailed breakdown of pass usage.

Furloughed Flight Attendants are reminded that APFA needs their help. We are still accepting narratives outlining Flight Attendant’s experiences while on furlough. It is vital that we compile a group of such narratives from Flight Attendants that have exhausted their Unemployment Insurance. The documents will be presented to members of Congress in our campaign to promote legislation that would extend Unemployment Insurance Benefits. The narratives do not have to be long, but they should be very specific. They should include the following:

  • The furloughed Flight Attendants name and mailing address
  • How long they received UI Benefits and when those benefits were exhausted
  • What sacrifices they and their families have had to make in order to make ends meet
  • Any other pertinent information they feel would strengthen the argument for an extension of Unemployment Insurance Benefits.

The narratives should be address to “Dear Members of Congress” and should be sent to George Price at APFA Headquarters. Since we need the information quickly, the best way to send the information is via e-mail to apfa@apfa.org or by fax at 817-540-2077.

Furloughed Flight Attendants are reminded that the Furlough page of the APFA Web site has a job opportunities section. As we receive job offers, we are posting them on this page. If you know of a job opening that one of our furloughed Flight Attendants would be interested in, please send the information to apfa@apfa.org or call 1-800-395-2732, extension 8308.

In Rumor Control: APFA has received a number calls and e-mails this week from Flight Attendants who have heard a rumor American was planning to recall Flight Attendants this spring. The APFA has been given no indication that American plans to recall Flight Attendants in the near future. Flight Attendants currently on Planned Leave of Absences will return to active status on May 1 and those on Overage Leaves will return by July 1, 2004. The Company has just offered a very limited number of Planned Leaves for 2004-2005 and has no plans to re-offer Overage Leaves. Furloughed Flight Attendants can access the Company’s Furlough Hotline by calling 1-800-JETNEWS, prompt #6.

In Industry News:

American announced February traffic results this week. The company reported a February load factor of 68.9% up .2 points from February 2003. The domestic load factor increased .8 points from last year, while international rose 1.3 points. American boarded 6.84 million passengers during the month.

On Thursday, American announced that it would increase flights at DFW by nearly 125 flights a day by 2007. The airline will lease 19 of the 28 gates in the new Terminal D scheduled to open next year. American also announced Thursday it would begin seasonal service between San Francisco and Maui beginning June 10th utilizing 757 aircraft. The service will run through September 7th.

That is it for this edition of the hotline. For the latest information, rumor control, past editions of the hotline, and airline industry news, visit the APFA Web site.

There are 5,760 American Airlines Flight Attendants currently on furlough.

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