This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Wednesday, September 20, 2006.
APFA News: The second Family Leave Presidential Grievance Award has been issued by the arbitrator. As soon as the APFA leadership has been briefed on the positive effects the award will have on our members, we will announce the decision on this hotline and the APFA Web site. Please refrain from contacting APFA at this time with questions you may have directly relating to this Award until the SBA Department has had the opportunity to brief the APFA leadership. We will keep you posted on the Hotline and Web site.
As we stated last week, Health Benefits enrollment begins October 1st. APFA advises you to be especially careful in the selection of Plans during this enrollment cycle, as the total cost based on your selection may result in added costs that will be borne by you.
APFA has been noticed by AA of several changes in the Point of Service (POS) Plan for the year 2007 which may impact your overall out-of-pocket costs minimally or significantly depending upon how you use the Plan. Therefore, before electing the Point of Service (POS) Plan, extra caution should be taken to review the changes. Once an enrollment selection is made and the enrollment period is closed, no alteration is possible unless there is an occurrence of a life-changing event.
The Communications Department is pleased to announce that the brand new APFA.ORG Web site will be published this Friday. During the transition to the new site, you may experience access problems due to the cache procedures of your individual server. It can take some servers up to 72 hours to cycle through the cache and reach the new Web site. APFA thanks you in advance for your patience during this transition.
Your username is your AA Employee Number with no leading zeros and your password is the same one you use for the current site. By Friday the 29th of September, you will be able to update your membership information online including your mailing address, home phone, email, etc. using our new secured site.
And from the Contract Department, passports for all Domestic Flight Attendants are required no later than September 30, 2006. Please refer to aaflightservice.com and click on the link entitled Passport and Visa Information toward the bottom of the page under Quick Links. There, you will also find a list of passport-related items that are reimbursable.
This is to advise Flight Attendants based in BOS and BOS-I that your Division Representative is now Mario St. Michel. He can be reached at APFA HDQ, ext. 8203. Also, those Flight Attendants based at IDF should contact Kim Boyett at ext. 8205 as she will be covering that base.
Each month, APFA publishes hotel allocations for cities in which we have more than two layover properties on the Hotel Department’s web page at www.apfa.org. Please click on Department, then Hotel. The information can be found on the main Hotel Dept.’s page.
Bankruptcy News: The Northwest Airlines Flight Attendants, represented by the AFA-CWA, filed an appeal against the bankruptcy court’s decision to block their right to strike. Northwest imposed the T/A previously rejected by the majority of the voting NW FAs in an effort to secure cost savings and the Flight Attendants maintain their right to strike their abrogated contract.
And over at Northwest’s commuter airline – Mesaba Aviation – a federal judge reversed the decision by a bankruptcy judge to abrogate the flight attendants contract. He stated that the airline did not demonstrate the burden of reorganizing fairly by placing an undue burden on the flight attendants. This puts negotiations back into the bankruptcy court.
Industry News: As we reported in earlier hotlines, AA has filed a request with the DOT to operate the Dallas Ft. Worth – Beijing route beginning March 25, 2007. Please visit www.flytochinaonaa.com to send a letter to the DOT Secretary in support of AA securing this new route. The deadline for Congressional support is Friday, September 22, 2006.
The Southwest Airlines pilots began contract talks on Monday, and AA’s pilots began contract talks yesterday. It is reported that the Southwest pilots – the highest paid in the industry – are looking for job security in the event of a merge/consolidation, as well as more money. Southwest is looking for new work rules to enhance its revenue. All members can access the AA pilots’ hotline for any updates the Allied Pilots Association disseminates publicly by visiting www.alliedpilots.org. APFA will not be reporting on the on-going negotiations between the AA pilots and American other than what is published by the pilots union.
Don Carty, former AMR CEO, is now the Chairman of Virgin America Airways. This airline has applied for approval to fly within the United States. Virgin America ownership is 75% U.S. and 25% foreign owned, which is the minimum threshold to operate within the U.S. Several domestic carriers are arguing against DOT approval. Continental submitted the following statement: “Virgin America is a foreign-funded, -owned and -controlled would-be airline masquerading as a U.S. airline applicant.” Foreign carriers, including AA, suffer major limitations when doing business in Britain and many domestic carriers argue that Virgin America should not be afforded any special treatment in the U.S. The application for approval was filed in December of last year and there is no deadline set for the DOT’s response.
Fuel Watch: As of Tuesday, September 19th, a barrel of crude oil cost $61.66, down $2.31 from last week’s price. The crack spread price was $10.85, up $2.24 from last week’s price. This brings the cost of one barrel of jet fuel to $72.51 – down .07 cents from the price of jet fuel a week ago.
The total for one barrel of jet fuel a year ago was $93.96, about $21 more than the price of a barrel of jet fuel today.
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That’s it for this week. Thank you for calling the APFA Hotline.