Thursday, October 24, 2012
The “Non-Disclosure Agreement” (NDA) Quiet Period
Since the NDA was signed in early September, US Airways and AA have been awfully quiet about the possibility of a merger inside or post-bankruptcy. While the lack of public statements makes it seem like nothing is happening, nothing could be further from the truth. A great deal is going on behind the scenes and progress is being made. Both airlines’ merger teams are immersed in each other’s financial information in an effort to explore the possibility of a merged company.
If, in the end, AA management does not choose to relinquish the reins and instead tries to pursue its standalone plan, most analysts believe that US Airways will be standing between Horton and the bankruptcy exit. Our team agrees that US Airways will have alternate plans when it comes to merging inside bankruptcy.
VEOP/TSP Exit Awards
VEOP/Travel Separation exit date awards will be posted Friday, October 26th. The following forms relevant to retirees are available at www.apfa.org and should be submitted to the appropriate address contained within each form:
Prefunding Refunding Rumor
There was a nasty little rumor going around that our prefunding would not be refunded until 90-120 days after November 1, 2012. This is not true. The date that triggered the 90-120 day clock is September 12, 2012, the day the LBFO was approved by the bankruptcy court. Therefore, we should begin seeing refunds around mid-December through to mid-January.
Day-Before Coverage Review
Beginning this week, the sick clearance time changed from 1600 local base time to 12 noon. Anyone who does not clear the sick list by noon the day prior to their trip will see their trip dropped into open time for next day coverage at 12:00 pm. local base time.
New procedures for Makeup (MU) and AVBL have also changed, as has new call in times for Reserves. The first round (also called the Merged MU Round) will be from 1200-1330 and only HISENDS will be accepted for that round. All HISENDS must be received no later than 1159. Trips will be awarded in seniority order, considered confirmed, and no phone calls will be made by Crew Sked to ask if you would like a trip. All trips given out at this time will be coded HS. Until a new form is released for this procedure, you may need to hisend more than one form to include all of your requested trips so please note on the form “Part 1,” “Part 2,” etc., or Crew Sked will default to the time stamp of each HISEND and use only the most recent HISEND submitted.
AVBL FAs can choose to participate in this round by using HISEND for those sick trips that will be dropped into Open Time at noon. If AVBL FAs chose not to participate, Crew Sked may assign you a trip at the end of this round by 1330.
Should any trips remain open at the conclusion of round one, round two for MU/SM/Option trips (Option trips begins November 1) will then open. Crew Sked will make one call to one number if no HISEND has been received for FAs in this round. You do not have to submit a new HISEND if the requested trips are still the same. All HISENDS received before 1700 will be considered confirmed. Note: HISEND requests must be specific in nature. A “High Time Trip,” a Big Trip,” or any other vague description will not be honored.
Reserve call-in time has moved to between 1700-2100 with Crew Sked increasing the amount of long-call Reserve awards (available for assignment after 12 noon).
Scheduling Implementation November 1, 2012
• Elimination of Domestic Duty-Aloft Limitation
• New Monthly Limitation of 100 Hours SPROJ for both Domestic/International
• New No-Option/Option
• New Domestic On-Duty Limits Based on Local Base Time Diurnals:
Departure Scheduled/Resched Operational
On-Duty Max On-Duty Max
0600-2059 14 hours 16 hours
2100-0559 12 hours 14 hours
The APFA Negotiating Team is working toward seeing these items implemented prior to the holidays in November:
• Pay beyond Guarantee for Reserve Flight Attendants
• Critical Coverage Pay Sequences
• Increased long-call assignments for Reserves (Implemented October 22, 2012, as an interim solution until we have fully implemented the AM/PM provisions for Reserve)
The implementation of the 100-hour Monthly Limitation created the need to address both Availability and Reassignments, therefore the following will be implemented on November 01, 2012:
• No GTD Restriction
• Ability to fly into/out of AVBL Days
• No Pre-Plotting Restrictions
• Crew Schedule/Crew Planning to Plot/Assign to 85 Hours [PROJ]
• F/A may Plot to 100 Hours [SPROJ]
• F/A may request to be RLSD from AVBL Day(s) when PROJ is at 80:01 or above
• F/A may request to be RLSD from AVBL Day(s) when PROJ is at 82:01 or above, if F/A has an AVBL Day on the last day of a Contractual Month There will only be one (1) set of rules governing FAs with AVBL days on their schedules, and Relief Rules (RL) will apply.
The following Reassignment (RA) Max will be implemented on November 01, 2012:
• Reassignment max of 85 Hours (SPROJ) for Regularly Flight Attendants
• FA may be Reassigned over 85 Hours provided Crew Schedule can adjust FA’s SPROJ back to 85 Hours (SPROJ) after the RA
• The Reassignment Max will increase to 90 Hours (SPROJ) on Jan 1, 2012, until Preferential Bidding (PBS) is implemented
• Current Contractual Language and Pay Provisions for RA still apply
LBFO Threshold Review
Vacation and Sick Leave Accrual Threshold: 600 Paid Hours Annually (January 1 to December 31 Lookback)
The way we accrue vacation and sick time has not changed. What HAS changed is the new threshold to accrue. You must have 600 paid hours in the previous year (January 1 to December 31) rather than the current minimum of 420 hours. As always, inactive months will neither count against you, nor will the hours flown in inactive months count toward your accrual. By December 31, 2012, you must meet the current 420 threshold. In 2013, you must meet the 600-hour threshold.
Employment Threshold: 420 Paid Hours Annually (January 1 to December 31 Lookback)
January 2014 will be the first time that the 420-hour minimum threshold to maintain employment will be calculated.
That means every FA has the ability to meet the 35-hour average between January 1, 2013, and December 31, 2013. In mid-January 2014, when our SK and VC accruals are posted, FAs can be separated from the company for failing to meet the 420 paid hours.
Health Insurance Benefit Threshold: 600 Paid Hours Annually (August 1 to July 31 Lookback)
A significant threshold change affects how we will maintain eligibility for health insurance benefits. Currently, there is a monthly rolling-12 month look back. A Flight Attendant can come in and out of eligibility for subsidized insurance every single month. This is a headache to administer and the result is that there will only be one annual look back period and the required threshold is 600 paid hours.
Effective August 1, 2013, every FA will have to have flown an average of 50 paid hours per active month to qualify for subsidized benefits in 2014. What that means is that between January 1, 2013 to July 31, 2013 we must fly an average of 50 paid hours per active month. On August 1, 2013, AA will look back and calculate if we meet the threshold. If so, we will be eligible for subsidized coverage for the entire calendar/benefit year of 2014. If we do not, we will have the option of purchasing the unsubsidized coverage for the entire year of 2014. Regardless of what we fly during the year of 2014, we will maintain the same subsidized or unsubsidized coverage. Where we must be careful is, on August 1, 2014, we must meet the 600-hour threshold in order to receive subsidized coverage the following year (2015). The look-back period to determine eligibility for benefits for 2015 will be from August 1, 2013 through July 31, 2014
So, how will the balance of time between today and January 2014 (when the new threshold for benefits applies) be treated? The answer is that it will remain as it is today. You must meet the rolling 12-month look back threshold of 420-paid hours until December 2013 to maintain subsidized coverage.
No one will be harmed by the new minimums for 2013. All of these changes apply in the future. We all have a chance to maintain the accruals that matter to us.
Q. When will it be necessary to meet the 600-hour threshold to accrue sick and vacation?
A: The first look back using the 600 hour threshold (or average of 50 hours per active month) will take place at the end of the 2013 calendar year. Your 2014 Sick and Vacation accrual will be based on your paid hours from January 2013 through December 2013. The look back period is the same as the current look back period. Only the hourly threshold is changing.
Q. Will we still use the 420-hour threshold for 2012 sick and vacation accruals?
Q. When will the new annual threshold go into effect for the purpose of paying subsidized rates for health benefits?
A. The first look back to receive subsidized benefits will occur in August 2013 (next year) and will be based on paid hours from January 1, 2013 through July 31, 2013. The threshold will be 350 hours (50 hours x 7 months) for the first look back.
If you do not have the required hours for this annual look-back, then you will pay unsubsidized rates if you elect to take benefits from the company for the calendar year 2014. You will know during fall enrollment in 2013 if you have met or failed to meet your annual threshold and the impact that will have on your benefit costs for the following year.
Going forward, the annual threshold for benefits will be measured from August 1 through the following July 31 of each year.
It is important to note monthly rolling look-backs will no longer take place after December 2013. Failure to meet your annual threshold by July 31 of a year will result in paying higher benefit rates for the full 12-month calendar year of the following year should you elect to take benefits from the company.
Q. How much longer with the rolling 12 month 420-hour threshold remain in place for benefits purpose?
A: The rolling 12-month look-back will continue through the end of 2013.
Q. When will the new 420-hour employment threshold go into place?
A. The first look-back for the 420-hour employment threshold will take place after 2013 hours are calculated in early to mid-January 2014, based on paid hours from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013.
Paid hours and thresholds will continue to work as they do today, in that if you are not active at least 15 days of the month then your threshold will be reduced for each inactive month. Paid hours in inactive months will also not count towards meeting your annual threshold.
Recycling at JFK, Finally!
WINGS has finally been able to negotiate the recycling of cans to benefit The Wings Foundation. Effective immediately, all cans set for recycling should be in an insert and placed in a cart that does not include perishable food items. Cans that are not in an insert (but are instead in market bags, oven racks or carts with perishable food items) will be discarded. Visit www.wingsfoundation.com for FAQs on this topic or email firstname.lastname@example.org
AA Announces New Routes For Spring 2013
DFW – Lima (LIM)
AA2193 Leave DFW: 5:30 p.m. Arrive LIM: 12:25 a.m. (next day)
AA2194 Leave LIM: 2 a.m. Arrive DFW: 9:15 a.m.
Aircraft Type: Boeing 757
Frequency: Daily service
Start Date: April 2, 2013
ORD – Dusseldorf (DUS)
AA242 Leave ORD: 5 p.m. Arrive DUS: 8:15 a.m. (next day)
AA241 Leave DUS: 12:10 p.m. Arrive ORD: 2:20 p.m.
Aircraft Type: Boeing 767-300
Frequency: Daily service
Start Date: April 11, 2013, subject to government approval
DFW – Seoul (ICN)
AA27 Leave DFW: 10:30 a.m. Arrive ICN: 3 p.m. (next day)
AA26 Leave ICN: 5 p.m. Arrive DFW: 4:20 p.m.
Aircraft Type: Boeing 777-200
Frequency: Daily service
Start Date: May 9, 2013, subject to government approval
AA290 Leave JFK: 6:55 p.m. Arrive DUB: 6:55 a.m. (next day)
AA291 Leave DUB: 9 a.m. Arrive JFK: 11:30 a.m.
Aircraft Type: Boeing 757-200
Start Date: June 12, 2013, subject to government approval
AmericanAirlines + US Airways
“Our Future Depends On It”
APFA National Communications Coordinator