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10.18.06 – (LAA) – 420-Hour Threshold, Health Benefits Enrollment, Skyword, AMR Earnings, Bankruptcy Watch

This is Leslie Mayo, National Communications Coordinator, with the APFA Hotline for Wednesday, October 18, 2006.

APFA News: Each year, a number of Flight Attendants do not accrue vacation or sick time due to falling short of the 420-hour threshold. Some of our members miss this cut-off by only a few hours. In some instances, flying one or two extra trips could make the difference in full accrual versus no accrual.†Further, some Flight Attendants will end up in an overpayment status if they used PVDs during the year and subsequently had no accrual.

If you are a low-time flyer, now would be the perfect time to review your HISK to ensure you are on track in meeting your accrual threshold. You can find a summary of your hours and threshold at the bottom of your HISK. Please refer to the Contract Department article in the 3rd quarter ‘05 issue of Skyword for a more detailed explanation of Vacation and Sick Accrual.† You can access previous issues of Skyword on the APFA Web site.

The Contract and Safety/Security departments have received†reports that off-duty crewmembers have offered and/or been asked by passenger service to board flights on occasion when the outbound crew is late in arriving. In order to ensure all legality and safety regulations have been met, boarding should only be accomplished by the Flight Attendants working the flight. The company is sending a reminder to our colleagues in passenger service advising them that only crewmembers assigned by crew tracking or crew scheduling should be boarding aircraft.

As a continued reminder, Health Benefits enrollment began October 1st and must be completed by October 31, 2006. We urge you to go to the APFA Web site and review the comparison chart that includes the differences between the contractually-protected Standard Health (PPO) Plan, aka 80/20 Plan, and the company-sponsored Point of Service (POS) Plan for the 2007 benefit year. The chart was compiled by APFA, with the assistance of The Segal Company, an outside benefits consulting group.

Remember, you may change your elections anytime during the enrollment period, however, once the benefit enrollment period ends no alteration to your election is possible unless you experience a life-changing event.

APFA President Hutto-Blake along with the New York Domestic and International Chairs, Vice Chairs, APFA’s Contract and Communications Coordinator, and a Worker’s Comp specialist will be attending a base meeting on October 26th. Please check the APFA Web site beginning Thursday for the exact time and location of this meeting.

AMR News: AMR reported its 3rd quarter earnings today at a profit of $15 million after special items. AMR has contributed $223 million to its employees’ defined benefit pension plans as of the September 15th payment and is in compliance with required funding.

AMR announced this week that it would be recalling 10 pilots per month beginning January of ’07 due to the number of pilots retiring or leaving the company. This is the first recall for pilots since furloughs began in 2001. There are 2,850 pilots on the recall list. On the other hand, Flight Attendants have experienced three rounds of recalls in December ’03, and July and November of ’04 totaling 1,195 recalled members.

Also, tonight at 9:00 p.m. Eastern/8:00 p.m. Central, CNBC will air a two-hour documentary entitled “Inside American Airlines: A Week in the Life.” The show will repeat at 11:00 p.m. Eastern this evening. Both management and labor representatives were interviewed for this documentary.

VOTE! Don’t forget to register to vote or sign up for your absentee ballot if you are flying during the election on November 7th. Each state has its own timeline for registering to vote absentee. Go to to obtain your state’s absentee ballot information.

Bankruptcy Watch: Comair and their Flight Attendants, represented by the IBT, finally reached a tentative agreement last Friday. A Teamster spokesperson announced that the four-year T/A provides financial relief for the company as well as a cap on health premiums for FAs. The T/A includes a 7.5% pay cut as well as job security in the event Comair is sold.

Mesaba Airlines’ management inquired of the judge overseeing its bankruptcy if the judge would block a strike in the event the airline chose to impose contract terms already approved by the judge. Rather than make a decision on whether the unions can strike, the judge not only withdrew his prior permission to impose new terms, but also will not rule on either subject until later this week or early next week.

Fuel Watch: As of Tuesday, October 17th, a barrel of crude oil cost $58.93, up .41 cents from last week’s price. The crack spread price was $15.23, down .65 cents from last week’s price. This brings the cost of one barrel of jet fuel to $73.51 – down .24 cents from the price of jet fuel a week ago.

The total for one barrel of jet fuel a year ago was $100.24, about $27 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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