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9.28.06 – (LAA) – FAs Removed from System Seniority List, Skyword, 2000 Series will be Discontinued, Bankruptcy

This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Thursday, September 28, 2006.

APFA is extremely disappointed to announce that on Sunday, October 1st, 867 American Airlines Flight Attendants will be removed from the System seniority list due to the five-year recall language in Article 16. On October 7th, 289 more of our members will be removed from that list after having been out on furlough since October of 2001. This is the first time in the history of APFA or American Airlines for that matter, that we have seen furloughs hit the five year mark which is the industry standard in the majority of FA Contracts. To date, the Company is not willing to discuss the provisions of extending recall rights outside of opening up our entire contract and subjecting all our members to even more concessions. APFA continues to seek a solution for extending recall rights for all our members outside of section 6 contract negotiations – negotiations that are not scheduled to commence until and in accordance with the amendable date of 2008. AA has given APFA no indication of recalls in the foreseeable future.

As we stated in last week’s hotline, the Family Medical Leave Arbitration Award for the second arbitration on this subject has been issued. The parties are working on Q&As to address the changes in FML procedures as ordered by the arbitrator that will positively affect our workgroup. Please be patient with your questions – we are hoping to publish the Q&As shortly.

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. APFA plans to publish a side-by-side health benefits comparison at next week.

From the Communications Department, Skyword will be mailed to your homes beginning tomorrow, September 29th. Contained within this issue is a tear-out guide comparing FA Industry contracts with those of several of our competitors. APFA encourages you to add this FA contract comparison guide to your On-Duty Contract Guide. Our Contract Coordinator, Brent Peterson, spent months researching for this product and made every effort to confirm the contractual provisions with those unions representing the airlines being compared as well as the airline itself in the event the FA group is unrepresented. This guide and Skyword itself will be available for download beginning September 29th by going to the new Web site at and clicking on Skyword.

From the Scheduling Department, APFA and AA have agreed that the 2000 Series will be discontinued for any future holiday periods. Although both parties anticipated improved coverage for, the fact is that many of the 2000 FA’s were able to finish their obligatory flying by the 22nd of the month, leaving the end of the month short on coverage. As a result, we anticipate a slight increase for reserves in holiday months.

APFA wishes to thank the FAs who participated in our informal survey regarding the impact Series 2000 had on those who actually flew it. Several FAs commented that it was worse than Reserve and the only way to improve it would be to allow pre-plot. Others admitted that if it meant being off Reserve they would support continuing it. Obviously, between the lack of improvement in coverage and the unfavorable comments of FA’s who held it, the Test was not productive.

From the Retirement Department, there are two seminars scheduled for October. The first one is in Kansas City on October 4th at 9:30 a.m. in the MCI Maintenance Base Target Room. This seminar is for all work groups both furloughed and active. Contact Jill Frank Smoak at APFA HDQ or Greg Bertolini at 770.939.7026 to make arrangements to attend. Another seminar will be held in Chicago for Flight Attendants in the West Conference Room October 11th at 1:30 p.m.

JFK and LGA will have a Base Meeting on October 26th beginning at 11am at the Ramada JFK Airport. For more information, email your base reps at or . APFA President Tommie Hutto-Blake will be in attendance as will the JFK and LGA base leadership.

Bankruptcy News: Mesaba Aviation is seeking to void labor contracts with its flight attendants, pilots and mechanics on the 15th of October in Bankruptcy Court. Mesaba management cannot access $24 million in DIP financing until it reaches agreements with labor.

The Northwest Flight Attendants return to mediated discussions with the airline today. They continue to request an impasse with the NMB leaving them free to strike. The judge has currently prohibited the FAs from striking the carrier and instead ordered both parties back to the table.

Fuel Watch: As of Wednesday, September 28th, a barrel of crude oil cost $62.96, up $1.30 from last week’s price. The crack spread price was $14.98, up $4.13 from last week’s price. This brings the cost of one barrel of jet fuel to $77.94 – up $5.43 from the price of jet fuel a week ago.

The total for one barrel of jet fuel a year ago was $93.96, about $16 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.

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