5.15.08 – (LAA) – Picketing AMR Shareholders Meeting, Increase in Calls about OE Trips, Stowing of Blankets, Docking Guidance System, On-Board Retail Sales, WINGS Foundation

This is the APFA HotLine for May 15, 2008. This is Frank Bastien, National Communications Coordinator.

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, May 21 for APFA’s picketing and protest at the AMR Shareholder’s meeting in the DFW area. We will picket alongside our APA pilots as we continue our “Decline! / Resign!” campaign. Check the “Picketing Information and Protocol” link on the main page of the APFA website for information on where and when to assemble.

APFA’s Scheduling reps have noticed an increase in calls about OE trips. As a reminder, if you pick up an OE trip, you are free to drop or trade that trip to another Flight Attendant. If you trade it, then all trips in the trade become OE as well. Reserve Flight Attendants who trade or drop an OE trip they’ve picked up on a duty-free period will not reduce their reserve guarantee. If you have more questions on the OE flexibilities, please contact an APFA Scheduling Rep at extension 8161.

Flight Attendants have reported receiving emails questioning the proper stowing of blankets, specifically: placing blankets in between seat headrests during aircraft taxi, takeoff and landing. APFA’s Safety and Security Department has subsequently held conversations with the FAA regarding this issue. In an email reply available through the “Hot Topics” link on the Safety & Security page of the APFA website, the FAA Cabin Safety Inspector assigned to the American Airlines certificate has confirmed that the practice does not comply with their instructions and poses a potential safety hazard. Should you have questions concerning this issue, please contact APFA at safety@apfa.org. It’s important to note: opinions given by various FAA inspectors on procedures for other airlines might not necessarily apply to all carriers.

The company has expanded the use of the Docking Guidance System – or DGS — from the original 11 gates to all gates in Miami. This system is also scheduled to expand to other hub cities. We need your help to document the impact this system may have on the recording of block times. For arrivals and departures at Miami, please request the actual in or out time from the cockpit – that is, when they’ve set or released the brakes – and compare this to your HI3. If the DGS records a different time than that indicated by the cockpit, contact APFA’s Contract Department at contract@apfa.org with all details of the flight. If the pilots provide any substantiation from ACARS or other means, please forward this to APFA’s Contract Department via US Mail or through your local APFA lock box. Remember we have contractual provisions that provide for flight pay when the aircraft is ready to depart but is unable to do so for reasons such as ATC, De-icing or Code 59 delays. Refer to page 17 of your On Duty Contract Guide for details.

The company’s week-long joint test with SkyMall for on-board retail sales on selected flights began May 15. APFA will monitor the impact of this test on our workload and vigorously defend Article 9.B.2 of our Contract. We are permitted to grieve changes to staffing or service if the company abuses its discretion to make changes and creates an unreasonable workload for our members. If you work one of the test flights, please forward any specific information concerning added workload to contract@apfa.org.

In industry news: Delta’s pilots captured the headlines in an otherwise quiet week for airline stories as they overwhelmingly voted to approve revisions to their current agreement. The modification provides pay raises, an equity stake in the airline and other benefits while also reportedly allowing the company more leeway in its merger with Northwest. The deal did not resolve questions of seniority integration of the two pilot groups.

Please remember that the Wings Foundation, formed and managed by American Airlines Flight Attendants, is active at every base. Check out their website at www.wingsfoundation.com for details on the many ways you can help Wings in its mission.

Keep in mind that there are still 1,193 APFA members awaiting recall and thank you for calling the APFA HotLine.

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