This is Leslie Mayo with the APFA Hotline for Friday, July 15, 2005.
Please remember our 4,185 furloughed flight attendants and our 12 members serving full time in the military.
American announced new non-stop service between Chicago and New Delhi proposed to start November 15th. This 7,500-mile route is AA’s longest route and qualifies for “Extended Long-Range Flying” or “ELR Flying.” APA did not have provisions in their Contract for ELR Flying so they announced their agreement with the Company as it relates to staffing of the New Delhi flights. ELR Flying is addressed in the APFA/AA Contract under Appendix I, Article 7.
Don’t forget to fill out the online Scheduling Survey at www.www.apfa.org. The survey will be available to all APFA members until July 24th, 2005.
United Airlines announced this week that they plan to recall their flight attendants on Voluntary Furlough back to work. 600 Flight Attendants will return effective August 9th. Additionally, the Company plans to recall the remaining 851 Flight Attendants on Voluntary Furlough by November 30th. The Company claims their loads are to capacity and, therefore, they need additional staffing. AFA Spokesperson Sara dela Cruz, however, offers a different angle. She was quoted as stating: “We’ve got flight attendants leaving, and they need people to fill those jobs,’ ‘They’re leaving because this isn’t the same job it once was.” APFA continues to support our brothers and sisters at United in their struggles with their employer.
Since Bankruptcy, United Flight Attendants have suffered two contract concessions and lost their pension plans outside of bargaining. Their career is now a job. This is the very reason it is so important for all APFA members to get involved in Lobby efforts, join APFA’s Political Action Committee and stay up-to-date with APFA news. Skyword Express will be in the field in August and it is imperative that each and every member review the information contained in this upcoming APFA publication very carefully.
Southwest Airlines is gearing up their campaign to repeal the Wright Amendment. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Wright Amendment, it is the Amendment that allowed Love Field to remain open to commercial aviation with limited service to points in Texas and its four contiguous states. Southwest Airlines chose to remain at Love Field with its limited operations, even though it has always been and continues to be offered gates at DFW. Southwest Airlines wants this law changed so they can expand their flights out of Love Field rather than opening operations at DFW. APFA asks each of our members to visit: www.www.apfa.org and click on “APFA Supports the Wright Amendment “. A deal is a deal. Let your Congressperson know that you do not support a change to the Wright Amendment.
In a similarly aggressive move, Southwest is pushing to fly out of Boeing Field rather than Seattle Airport (SEA) because the fees out of Seattle are just too expensive. You can’t blame them for trying, but this predatory behavior and sense of entitlement to be allowed to fly out of a special airport rather than the designated airport for customer traffic under the rules and guidelines set forth is going a little far.
From the APFA Safety Department: there appears to be a new sign of flexibility relating to airlines at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the federal agency that oversees the TSA. That sign came when the head of Homeland Security announced that the unpopular “30-minute rule” would be suspended for flights departing and arriving into Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA). The post-9/11 rule prohibits passengers from leaving their seats during the first or last 30 minutes of any flight to/from National Airport. Since the rule was enacted in 2001, it has forced more than 100 flights to be diverted. The effective date to suspend the rule has not been announced.
The APFA Hotel Department would like to let the membership know that if a Purser needs to swap room numbers written on the sign-in sheet amongst the crew to please work directly with the hotel on this. The Hotel Staff must be made aware of the requested changes to ensure it is properly done and recorded in the hotel’s log.
In Rumor Control, APFA is receiving a lot of questions about returning furloughees at American. To date, AA has not notified APFA of any furlough recalls on the horizon. However, we continue to discuss this issue with the company in the hopes that our furloughees can return to the line as soon as possible.
Finally, in industry news: The National Mediation Board (NMB) offered binding arbitration to Northwest Airlines and AMFA, the union representing the mechanics at Northwest. Previously, both parties had asked for release from mediation thereby starting the 30-day clock. Northwest says that it is “considering its options.” Prospects are that this offer will be rejected leading the way to a 30-day cooling off period, which could result in a lock-out or a Strike.
That’s it for this week, thank you for calling the APFA Hotline.