This is Michael Truan, DFW InfoRep Captain, with the APFA Hotline for Sunday, August 8 2004.
The APFA Board of Directors held a special meeting in Dallas, Ft. Worth beginning July 26, 2004. At this meeting, a majority of the Board changed APFA’s communication policy with regard to approval required to disseminate information to the membership. Three separate Board resolutions placed approval solely with the President, or in his absence, another national officer. The previous policy required approval by a majority of the National Officers. This change to the authorization policy covers all communications to APFA members and the press, including Skyword and the Hotline. APFA members in good standing can access the full text of the official minutes of this meeting and all resolutions shortly through the APFA Web site at www.www.apfa.org under the icon ‘EC/BOD Meetings.’ Specific questions regarding the meeting should be directed to your respective APFA Base Chair.
On Thursday the Company announced positive results from the ongoing Chicago Test Initiative. This test on the Super 80 allows the original cockpit crewmembers and flight attendants to remain with one aircraft during the flying day. During the test, DOT dependability improved despite weather challenges in July. This test has proven that fewer reassignments occurred for pilots and flight attendants. This test will continue through the month of August and crew allocations will be using these same types of schedules for the month of September at ORD.
In American’s efforts to simplify its operation, there were fewer instances where aircraft were replaced with other aircraft due to maintenance. More aircraft were repaired at the gate and returned to service the same day. There were fewer delays although longer as American had anticipated. The company is also looking into the relocation of the Boeing 737 flying from ORD and SFO to MIA, to concentrate on 737 flying at the MIA hub. This reduction of 737 flying in ORD and SFO will be replaced with Super 80 and 757 operations. If this relocation occurs, it will begin on November 1st, 2004. It has also been anticipated that the Boeing 777 will be moving from SFO to LAX for greater bid lines and reserve efficiencies.
Ballots for the proposed APFA Constitutional changes are due by 0900 Central Time on August 11, 2004. All APFA members were recently mailed copies of the proposed changes and an explanation of the changes via bulk rate mail. This is the lowest postal rate available for this type of mailing, which has been associated with a somewhat slower delivery rate. If you have not received your copy, please visit the APFA Web site. A link to all of the information has been posted on the opening page. The ratification ballot was mailed First Class. If you have not received your ballot, you should contact the APFA National Ballot Committee immediately at 1-800-395-2732, extension 8311 to request a duplicate. The proposed changes to the APFA Constitution have been endorsed by the APFA Board of Directors. Specific questions regarding the proposed changes should be directed to your respective Base Chair. Please exercise your right and vote!
On June 28, 2004, the APFA Executive Committee voted to endorse Senator John Kerry for President of the United States. The complete text of this resolution can be found under June 28, 2004 EC meeting found under the EC/BOD Review? link on the opening page of the web site. APFA has traditionally endorsed presidential candidates who support Flight Attendant issues. On November 2, 2004, we elect a new president, many new members of Congress, and state and local officials. It is critical that each of us exercise our right to vote in this very important election. APFA members may use the Capwiz feature of the APFA Web site to review voting records of members of Congress and connect to the web sites of various candidates. If you are not currently registered to vote, you can do so easily on-line through such sites as www.beavoter.org. or through your local Registrar. Many states now offer individuals the ability to register to vote when they obtain a new Driver’s License.
By the very nature of our job as a Flight Attendant, many of us will be flying on November 2nd and unable to make it to the polls. Most states provide voters the ability to cast absentee ballots. Others afford voters the chance to vote early. You should contact your local Registrar’s office to enquire about these two options. Exercise your right to vote on November 2, 2004!
Taking you around the APFA
From the APFA Safety Department: APFA Safety Council representatives have recently been in operations throughout the system, raising awareness of the importance of maintaining an up-to-date Flight Attendant Safety Manual. We appreciate their time and energy dedicated to this project and hope they were able to assist you with any questions, concerns, or problems with your manual. The August 1 revision lightened the book some. Domestic and International Food service is out! The manual awareness project is a cooperative effort with Flight Service Daily Operations.
From the Contract Administration Department: The Retirement made easy book has been updated. Log onto the APFA website under the retirement section to view this information. Although your intentions may be in the right place, please be respectful of other work groups? duties on our aircraft. The TWU fleet service group is facing more furloughs and if we clean the airplanes when not scheduled, this could increase the number of their members who get laid off.
From the Scheduling Department: Recently the APFA has received a few calls concerning open replacement flying and release of available days. Once a Flight Attendant has reached his or her applicable hours in the GTD (greater-to-date) or the GTD plus Company pre-plotted trips yet to be flown, s/he must call scheduling if s/he wants to be released from the remaining available days. If a Flight Attendant does not call to be released, scheduling may plot another trip on an AVBL day. This is dependant on the projection and option status. As a reminder, a trip’s value will not update in the GTD until it has been completed. As a reminder, PVDs for an all-nighter turn are counted as one PVD per the 2001 contract. Due to programming issues, the company must manually make the change, and the audits take approximately two weeks.
From the Health Department: The enrollment period for the APFA Voluntary Optional Insurance has been extended to August 31st. Benefit Counselors will return to DFW Flight Service Operations, from August 9th thru August 20th, to conduct additional Flight Attendant meetings. As a reminder, with the exception of Long Term Disability all benefits are portable when you leave American. In other words, the benefits that you choose now you can take with you in the event that you no longer work for American. American’s LTD is not portable likewise the APFA Optional LTD is not portable
Please refer all questions to the Benefits Call Center at 888- 219-9459 and speak with the Benefit Communications Counselor. The Call Center is there to address your questions. The Health Reps at APFA Headquarters as well as representatives at American are not authorized to provide you information regarding APFA Voluntary Optional Insurance.
We continue to get calls from Flight Attendants regarding emergency equipment causing them injury during pre-flight duties. Specifically, the 757 Forward Entry Area Storage Space with the First Aid Kit that is located on the Right Hand side door held with a Velcro strap. When the FA opens the door to check the emergency equipment the First Aid Kit falls off the door and strikes them, either in the face, chest, torso, or feet. Some of these injuries have been reported as IOD’s, some have not been reported, and some have been averted due to the crewmember’s quick reflex to catch the first aid kit. The Company has been made aware of this problem and they are working quickly to resolve this issue. In the mean time, please be alert when checking your emergency equipment.
From the Hotel Department: The Company has finalized the long layover review for Paris to be the week of August 23rd. We will keep you informed as to the results of this hotel review.
The Communications Department: is happy to report that the latest issue of Skyword has been mailed. It is also available on the APFA Web site by clicking on the Skyword icon on the left hand side of the opening page.
The National Ballot Committee would like to remind Flight Attendants in JFK, LGA, MIA, and SFO that Willingness-to-Serve Notifications for position of APFA Vice Chairperson at those bases are due by 1000 Central Time on August 25th. Questions regarding the Willingness-to-Serves should be directed to the APFA National Ballot Committee at APFA Headquarters, extension 8311.
Considering retirement? Then mark your calendars! Flight Service has scheduled retirement seminars in DFW on August 10th and August 12th. Seminars will be held in the Flight Service Conference Room behind the MOD’s office. Sessions will begin at 1030, 1330, and 1530 each day. Reservations are not necessary.
In Rumor Control: Q: Flight attendants have been hearing about ongoing Department of Labor investigations with regard to the most recent APFA National Officer election. What is going on?
A: The DOL communicates directly with the president of APFA, and to date, the communications department has not had an update from President Ward regarding the validity of the latest rumors. If and when any official notice is given, we will update this hotline as events warrant.
In Industry news:
American attempted an increase in fares late last week to help offset the cost of rising fuel prices. Unfortunately, this fare increase was withdrawn due to the fact most other airlines did not match the increase.
During a meeting in Washington on Wednesday, the FAA and DOT told airline executives that airlines serving Chicago O’Hare can voluntarily reduce flights during peak hours or the government will do it for them. American and United have already voluntarily reduced flights on two previous occasions. The FAA has said that they will look to all airlines for reductions in schedule during this round of reductions.
Delta management has asked their Pilots for $1 billion dollars in annual concessions. This is a 20 percent increase in the amount of concessions Delta had previously requested.
Air Tran Airways announced this week that it would continue its DFW expansion with new service to Ft. Lauderdale. The airline now serves six destinations out of DFW.
At the end of last week, Flight Attendants at Southwest ratified their tentative contract agreement. They are the last of the employee groups at that airline to secure a new contract.
That’s it for this edition of the APFA Hotline. Please visit the APFA Web site at www.www.apfa.org for more information.
There are 5,527 Flight Attendants currently on furlough.
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