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This is Cathy Lukensmeyer, APFA Treasurer. Today is Friday, January 14 and you have reached the APFA hotline.

This week’s highlight was the Leadership Summit held here at APFA headquarters on Wednesday. During our First 100 Days letters were sent to all past officers of APFA and candidates from the last national officer election. Sixteen of those contacted responded and thirteen were able to attend. The Summit was facilitated by Kathy Fragnoli an experienced mediator. The focus was on core issues affecting the union and the membership. It was an intense few hours of brainstorming amongst union advocates, many with very passionate viewpoints. We looked to the past to better prepare ourselves for the future. Hopefully, this will just be the first of many such summits and we thank all who attended.

Taking you around the Treasurer’s office: Well in my last Skyword article I addressed the collection of dues money. However, it is not enough just to have money coming in. Fiscal responsibility encompasses conservative practices in the distribution of your funds. We’ve addressed long overdue upgrades at headquarters, all within the confines of a greatly reduced budget. It’s a delicate balance of both efficiency and cost-effectiveness; i.e., building on our assets without incurring a lot of new debt.

As for managing your money: Our Negotiations Fund gets a set percentage of every dues dollar. Those monies have been invested wisely, growth has been steady and is anticipated to continue in the months to come. As for reducing debt: I saw that our very favorable interest rate on the outstanding Line of Credit was creeping up every month. It wasn’t looking so favorable anymore, up 31%, and by our fiscal year’s end is projected to be up 50%. So back in June I recommended to the Executive Committee that we double up on payments. That approved, it will be paid off by our fiscal year’s end this March, with no prepayment penalty, and a savings to the Union of almost $5,000. Not a bad savings.

And now, stay tuned for the rest of the APFA hotline… Leslie:

Thanks, Cathy.

This is Leslie Mayo with the rest of the APFA hotline for Friday, January 14, 2005.

Many of you have expressed concern with respect to health issues in the aftermath of the tsunami that struck Southeast Asia and East Africa. The Center for Disease Control has NOT issued a travel warning for these areas. The CDC recommends that flight crews should ensure their routine immunizations are up to date for overseas travel. Health precautions for traveling to developing countries remain the same.

If flight crews become aware of illness on board with a passenger who has connected from a flight originating in one of the tsunami-affected areas, the captain should inform dispatch who can then alert the nearest quarantine station within the US, so that on arrival the passenger can be appropriately evaluated. Most illnesses that may be contracted by survivors of tsunami-affected regions will not pose a threat to others on board.

From the Hotel Department: many LAX-I flight attendants have expressed a desire for alternate hotel options in San Salvador. APFA has heard your concerns and the initial stages are being set in motion to see what our options in this city may be.

Please keep in mind that if your van to the layover hotel has not arrived within 30 minutes on Domestic or 45 minutes on International, you are entitled to hire a taxi to get to the hotel. Please review Article 21.E.2. and 3. for further details. Be sure to retain your receipt for reimbursement by the company. Contractually, Article 21 states that Flight Attendants should make a reasonable effort to share transportation with fellow crewmembers.

Should you find it necessary to arrange for alternate transportation, please make sure to fill out a pink hotel debrief form and return it to the hotel department.

Finally, We recently moved hotels in Reno, and request that you report any problems you encounter while staying at this hotel to the APFA Hotel Department via a pink debrief form, or the web-based debrief form at We are doing everything possible to remedy this situation.

This week Flight Attendants started receiving their FAA Certification cards in the mail at their home address. If you have not received yours it should arrive soon. It is NOT necessary to carry the original certification card, however, you may want to carry a copy of the card in your manual. If you have a Cabin Safety Inspector on board your aircraft that asks to see your certification and you do not have it accessible, you have up to 15 days to supply the FAA with a COPY of the certification. Do NOT allow them to keep your original certificate.

The TSA has added a few new locations to the Crew Member Self-Defense Training Program. You can find a current list of locations on the APFA website under Departments, then Safety. Upcoming dates for the program are, February 15 – 17 and March 15 – 17. We encourage all Flight Attendants to sign up for this voluntary program.

Base visits by APFA President Tommie Hutto-Blake are moving along with separate visits to both San Francisco and San Jose Ops this past week. Tommie will be in Los Angeles on January 24th from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. and January 25th from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Please take the time to meet with Tommie and find out firsthand what’s going on at your Union. It is an excellent opportunity to speak directly with your President to get your concerns addressed. The date for Raleigh-Durham has been changed and the new date will be posted on the website calendar and announced on this hotline shortly.

Chicago APFA rep-in-ops day will be January 18th and DFW, IDF, JFK, LGA and EWR rep-in-ops day will be on January 19th. Please check for specific times and locations.

In rumor control: one flight attendant at JFK was told that beginning in April, pursers will no longer be required on narrow and wide body Caribbean trips. In other words, it will just be a regular position #1 on the bidsheet with no particular qualification requirements.

Answer: there are no plans to remove the Purser obligation on any trip that currently requires a Purser on board.

In another rumor, one flight attendant heard from a pilot that AMR is looking to buy Skywest Airlines, which seemed to make sense to her considering the new jumpseat policy with them. Is this true?

Answer: as I mentioned in last week’s hotline, there is no truth to any rumors that AMR is seeking to purchase another airline.

US Airways has upped its offer of better healthcare to its mechanics and will provide temporary positions for some of the laid off workers in Pittsburgh and other cities. It has also offered to increase the starting pay of these part-time new mechanics by about $2 an hour.

US Airways also won permission by a bankruptcy judge to continue spending money through June 30th. They still need a large financer to invest about $250 million before they can emerge from bankruptcy. IAM’s contract vote is due on January 21st – the same day the IAM has asked its baggage handlers and mechanics to authorize a future strike.

That’s it for this week – please don’t forget our 4,541 furloughed flight attendants and our 20 members serving full-time in the armed forces. Thanks for calling the APFA hotline.

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