Representing the Flight Attendants
of American Airlines

Representing the Flight Attendants of American Airlines

02.04.05

You have reached the APFA Hotline for Friday, February 4th. This Is Tommie Hutto-Blake, APFA President.

Yesterday, APFA sent a reminder email to those flight attendants with emails on file to fill out the APFA membership opinion survey. This is a valuable tool for your leadership to set the direction of our Union based on membership feedback. This is the first of four surveys APFA will be conducting and is set to end soon. This survey will be effective only if you get involved. Please take five minutes to visit www.apfa.org. If you don’t have Internet access, you can visit a library or Internet cafe.

This week I spent two days in the ORD operations areas visiting with and listening to many Flight Attendants. I cannot emphasize enough how helpful it is to your leadership to hear your concerns, suggestions and ideas first hand. As I have stated on this hotline before, there is nothing more important to a union leader than spending one-on-one time with our members. I so appreciate those of you in Chicago and the other base cities I’ve visited who have taken the time to offer your primary concerns along with suggestions on how you would resolve some of the problems we face.

Next week I will be in DCA meeting with the APFA Executive Committee for our first Quarterly Meeting of the new year. Then next month, I will join the Board in Chicago for the annual convention. All members in good standing are invited to these meetings. It is this administration’s goal to have a more member-friendly convention this year. We hope to start a new tradition within our organization by having events scheduled during the annual business meeting of the APFA Board of Directors. Please watch for notices on the APFA website and on the APFA operations bulletin boards for specific timelines for workshops and other events during this year’s Chicago March convention.

My second base visit for February will be in the MIA/IMA base operations area on Monday, February 14th, and Tuesday, February 15th. On day one I will be in operations from 1400 through 1800 and on day two return to MIA operations from 0700 to 1100. If you are in Miami during these dates please stop by and visit with me.

I want to announce that APFA has agreed to share our jumpseat with the American Eagle flight attendants. It is our position that the AA Flight Attendant jumpseat is a negotiated item we can choose to share with other Flight Attendants in our industry. I hope it is obvious that both Lauri Curtis and I have a mutual goal of reaching more agreements within our industry to have reciprocal jumpseat agreements. We realize that the Eagle Flight Attendants don’t have a jumpseat to share with the AA side of AMR’s property, thus this is a goodwill gesture for our Eagle sisters and brothers resulting in no negative impact on the AA side. You will only see an Eagle FA sharing your jumpseat if there is no AA Flight Attendant present desiring the jumpseat. I would also like to state that we are currently in active discussions with other properties for future jumpseat agreements.

I would like to announce that throughout 2005 one of APFA’s primary focuses will be the issue of Flight Attendant fatigue. It is our opinion this issue of fatigue stemming directly from our work environment must be addressed and a planned strategy must be developed. Finally, in order to effectively tackle this problem, a joint effort must be established amongst all Flight Attendants nationwide. With that in mind, APFA and Local 556, TWU, representing the Southwest Flight Attendants will co-sponsor a Flight Attendant Fatigue Summit the last week of March. Invitations were mailed today to all unions representing Flight Attendants in this country. We are pleased to be working in partnership with Local 556 on this project and look forward to widening this partnership with all the principals representing Flight Attendants in our industry. We will keep you updated on this matter because you will be a part of this plan. America’s Flight Attendants must stand together and have our voices heard on this subject.

And now please stay on the line for the remaining important news of your union. Leslie…..

Thanks Tommie.

This is Leslie Mayo with the rest of the APFA Hotline for Friday, February 4, 2005.

We have 4,541 members on furlough and 20 serving full-time in the armed forces.

Since the implementation of Reserve Preferences in August of 2002, the APFA Scheduling Department has become concerned over the number of reserves whose preferences were not being honored. The APFA/AAL Joint Scheduling Committee decided that one way to increase the number of honored preferences was to increase the utilization ranges as outlined in Article 10 that trigger the system to consider preferences when awarding next-day assignments. We are pleased to announce that the ranges have been doubled.

For all Flight Attendants who have called to let APFA know that your choice of co-terminal, etc, was not considered, we believe some relief is in sight. Additionally, even for those reserves that do not fall in the hour range, the preferences for sign-in times and co-terminal airports are considered when scheduling standby.

Reserve Flight Attendants should take care when inputting their preferences. Please visit the APFA or AA website for an extensive document discussing these procedures. Remember, preferences must be entered for each reserve month as they are purged each month – and the less preferences you enter, the more success you might have in realizing these preferences. Only input the most important preferences, because each preference eliminates trips, until there may not be any trips in open time that meet all the criteria and the system defaults to awards based on GTD.

Please help us make this a success by entering preferences for your next reserve month to help APFA monitor this system. We can’t see if the new ranges are working if those on reserve don’t input preferences.

Those of you working duty-free flights please remember to complete the revenue sharing form and include it with your deposit. AA’s duty-free vendor DFASS reported that a large number of forms were not received during November and December. AA is aware that in several cases the forms were not boarded for us to use. American has assured us they continue to send reminders to our caterers to ensure proper boarding of the forms. Revenue sharing forms will be included with the Purser paperwork and can also be downloaded from the flight service website. As a last resort you may include the relevant flight and sales information on a piece of paper. Receipt of this form is crucial in order for us to have the ability to trade duty free selling responsibilities on board. During the first two weeks of this month the number of forms received by DFASS will be monitored to determine whether the flexibility of trading duty free responsibilities can be continued. Please let APFA know if revenue sharing forms are not available by dropping a note in any APFA lockbox, or contacting the Contract Department at APFA HDQ, ext. 8271.

The MSP Satellite base began a successful operation this week, thanks in large part to the hard work of the MSP Flight Attendants. We would like to remind ORD based Flight Attendants that if you bid or pick-up a MSP sequence, you are responsible for your own transportation to and from MSP.

MSP sequences are designated on the bidsheet with the letter “P”. When searching open time for availability plotting, trip trade with open time, etc., please use the N4D/ORD//Date entry as it will clearly display that the sequence originates and terminates in MSP. You cannot distinguish an ORD sequence from a MSP using the N3D or N4TL entry. Spread the word to your fellow ORD based Flight Attendants to use the N4D entry to avoid accidentally picking up a MSP sequence.

As a result of discussions within the APFA/AAL Joint Scheduling Committee, the following will apply when a Flight Attendant crew is laying over at EZE, SCL, GIG, GRU, or the MIA-MVD direct flight, and the crew is NOT staying at a hotel that is at/near the airport. If the trip has a delay resulting in minimum rest of 8 hours, the crew may call Tracking to request an extended rest of 10 hours. It will not be applied automatically. Operations may contact Crew Tracking on behalf of the crew.

There will be elections for the positions of Chair and/or Vice Chair at the following bases: BOS-I Chair and Vice Chair, DFW Chair and Vice Chair, IDF Chair and Vice Chair, IMA Vice Chair, JFK Chair and Vice Chair, LAX-I Chair and Vice Chair, MIA Chair and Vice Chair, ORD Chair and Vice Chair, SFO Chair and Vice Chair and STL Chair. Ballots were sent last Monday the 31st of January and are due in the designated PO Box by 10:00 a.m. on March 2nd. If you do not receive your ballot by February 10th and there is an election at your base, please contact the National Ballot Committee at APFA HDQ, ext. 8311. The Board of Directors is the governing body of this Union and sets policy for APFA. Each Base Chair has one vote on the Board. Don’t let this opportunity to cast your ballot pass you by. If you received a ballot but believe you are in dues arrears, please confirm your standing with the membership department, extension 8153. Your vote will count as long as you become a member in good standing five days prior to the ballot count. For those of you who are wondering what the colored square on your return envelope means, each base was assigned a color solely for sorting purposes, including one base, which was assigned white, and therefore no color was necessary for that base’s return envelopes.

The APFA Executive Committee will be meeting for its quarterly meeting in Washington, D.C. All members in good standing are welcome to attend. The meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m. on February 8th and is scheduled to adjourn on February 9th.

Preparations are underway for APFA’s 12th Annual Convention. The Convention begins on Monday morning, March 14 and adjourns on Friday the 18th. All members in good standing are encouraged to attend. In addition to observing your Base Chairs at work, this year we are pleased to announce that we will be offering Scheduling and Contract training, and a retirement seminar. Please mark your calendars for March 14th in Chicago. More information on how to enroll in any of these activities will follow on the website and this Hotline.

The 109th Congress is in full session and many of the issues we face as FA’s are going to be front and center on Capitol Hill. APFA plans on being heavily involved as the issues facing us unfold. We need your help to make our efforts successful. The legislative team will be available to you in ORD during the annual APFA convention. We can also be reached via email at apfa_legislation@unity.www.apfa.org. You don’t always need to come to Washington to help. You can do your part locally and right at home by utilizing the CapWiz feature on the APFA website.

In rumor control, someone wrote in asking if American Eagle would be flying all of our Mexico routes.

Answer: nope.

And the other rumor that understandably never goes away is that there are more furloughs on the horizon.

In response to this rumor: APFA has heard nothing from AA on the announcement of more furloughs.

In Industry News, while United’s Flight Attendants and pilots ratified their tentative agreements this past Monday, management is headed back to the bargaining table with its mechanics in an attempt to renegotiate a tentative agreement that the AMFA members will ratify. Last Friday, the mechanics turned down the T/A that AMFA begrudgingly put forth to its members for a vote after promising never to agree to concessions with United Airlines. AMFA members voted to Strike if the bankruptcy judge threw out their current contract. Following the no vote, the judge imposed an immediate temporary 10% pay cut giving United $21 million in savings through May 31st, and reduced sick-leave benefits. The judge also gave United until May to reach an agreement with AMFA.

On Wednesday, the federal government took over US Airways’ responsibility to its employees’ pensions via the PBGC. The PBGC will now guarantee $2.3 billion in pension payments to US Airways employee groups.

Thank you for calling the APFA Hotline.

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