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6.10.11 – (LAA) – Wings of Courage, Cabin Temperature, UHC Lawsuit, Retirement Briefings, FMLA Updates, FSA Grace Period Nearing an End, Industry News

Weekly Hotline

For the week ending Friday, June 10, 2011

“Wings of Courage”

The Washington Park International Rose Test Garden in Portland, Oregon will debut a new breed of rose named “Wings of Courage” in honor of those crew members and passengers who lost their lives on AA flight 11 on September 11, 2001.

The Portland Rose society states, “Without question, the heroes of American Airlines Flight 11 represent what we would all hope to find in ourselves in such an inconceivable circumstance, and that is courage.”

The ceremony will take place on June 12 from 10 am to 12 pm. To learn more please click here.

Keeping Cool

Temperatures soared over most of the continental US this week and are anticipated to remain sweltering as summer sets in.

During the summer heat peak, reports concerning boarding an aircraft with unsafe temperatures continue to rise. Not only in DFW, but around the system, and year-round in some stations. Although American has yet to create a company policy regarding safe passenger boarding temperature, APFA’s position is the common sense approach, UNSAFE HEAT=DON’T GREET. If you feel the temperature is too hot and unsafe on the aircraft, don’t begin to greet the passengers by boarding the aircraft.

Report your concerns to the Captain and/or Agent immediately. An effort by the Captain, Agent and Ground Crew should begin in order to lower the cabin temperature and begin boarding the aircraft as soon as possible.

Please report unsafe cabin temperatures including; flight number, aircraft type, date and time to the APFA Safety Department via e-mail –

UHC Lawsuit

Although APFA is not a party in the lawsuit, some FAs are reporting that they are receiving letters requesting additional information. We have verified with Berdon Claims that these letters are being sent out however not all claimants will have to provide additional information. Please watch your mail for any contact from Berdon Claims.

If you have questions pertaining to the lawsuit please contact the claims administrator, Berdon Claims.

Website –
Email –
Phone – 1-800-443-1073

Retirement Briefings

APFA Retirement Specialist Patrick Hancock will hold a retirement briefing on Monday, June 13 at 1800 in the Yandry Center at DFW airport across from gate C2.

Retirement briefings will be held in ORD on Thursday, July 14 from 1000 to 1200 and again from 1400 to 1600 in the flight service conference room, lower level K19 across from the FYI Center. If you would like your spouse to attend the meeting please contact Mary Serafin, Administrator for flight service.

The seminars are open and useful to all Flight Attendants from all bases, but particularly important to Flight Attendants planning to retire in the next 10 years.

To make the most of these briefings, print and bring your personal pension estimate and plan calculation formulas from JetNet.

FMLA Updates

The APFA website has recently been updated with the most recent Family and Medical Leave Act updates as well as a Questions and Answers section and the Flight Crew Technical amendments. Please click here to view.

FSA grace period nearing an end

The claim filing deadline for 2010 eligible healthcare FSA expenses is Wednesday, June 15, 2011.

Any unfiled claims for eligible expenses dated January 1, 2010 to March 15, 2011 can be applied to an unused healthcare FSA balance from 2010.

There is a direct link to PayFlex, AAs FSA vendor, on the Benefits page of JetNet. The telephone number for the PayFlex FSA division is 1-800-284-4885.

Industry News

Recently AA completed the IOSA ìIATA Operational Safety Auditî. As a result several FA procedures will be altered to meet IATA requirements.

The changes will include:

  1. FAs must recheck emergency equipment whenever the aircraft they are working is left unattended (no crewmembers on board).
  2. FAs may not fly earlier than 4 hours after giving a plasma donation or 72 hours after giving a blood donation of Ω pint or more.
  3. FAs may not SCUBA or deep sea dive within 24 hours prior to sign in to guard against decompression sickness.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission granted AA and Qantas interim approval for the proposed joint business agreement by the two carriers ìon their services between Australia/New Zealand and the US, within these regions and beyond to third countriesî.

The agreement does not include revenue sharing and still requires approval by the US Department of Transportation and the New Zealand Minister of Transport.

Members of the GLEAM Employee Resources Group (Gay, Lesbian, BI, Trans and Allied Employees) were the first from a major carrier to contribute to the It Gets Better Project. The It Gets Better Project offers encouragement to teens that are struggling with the challenges of growing up, especially if dealing with the extra pressures that can come with being gay.

To view the GLEAM YouTube video please click here.

Please remember there are currently 594 members on furlough and awaiting recall. This number includes all recalls as of July 1,2011.

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