APFA Hotline – February 10, 2013
Press reports are running rampant regarding a potential merger with US Airways. While APFA cannot comment on speculation, as you know, the American Airlines Flight Attendants have been supportive of a merger inside bankruptcy since last April when we announced the Bridge Agreement with US Airways.
If and when an announcement takes place, APFA will have a number of documents available at www.apfa.org to answer your questions.
Samsung Tablet Survey
In order to more efficiently gather feedback and address concerns related to the FA Tablet, APFA has created a Tablet Survey which can be accessed on our website beginning Monday, February 11th. We encourage all members who have completed Tablet Training to fill out this survey so that we have the most comprehensive information available to address your concerns. The survey link will be in the members’ only section of APFA’s web site. If you are not yet a member, please register here.
Section 1114 Bankruptcy Update
On January 23, 2013 there was a hearing in the Bankruptcy Court on American Airlines’ position that it does not have to comply with Section 1114 of the Bankruptcy Code. Congress enacted Section 1114 precisely to prevent debtors like American Airlines from modifying or eliminating retiree benefits unless the company meets certain criteria.
During the hearing, attorneys representing American Airlines stated that it was the company’s intention to “modify” the retirement health and welfare benefits for its 46,930 retirees by imposing 100 percent of the cost of those benefits on retirees. They claim there is a distinction between “Eliminating benefits” and “Forcing Retirees to pay 100 percent.”
This outrageous argument makes it clear that we will need the help of our representatives in Washington, DC to demand that American do the right thing. American’s proposal is not reasonable or fair. Our retirees will not be able to make any changes in their benefits in future negotiations. Our retirees are living on fixed incomes and cannot absorb huge increases in their medical expenses as the cost of care continues to rise. Our retirees gave long years of loyal service in exchange for the promise of secure retiree medical coverage. Any concession from our retirees needs to acknowledge and reflect this reality.
APFA has asked all our retirees to contact their representatives and ask for Washington’s help.
AdHoc Willingness to Serve
This week, the National Ballot Committee picked up Willingness-to-Serve Notifications for the position of Ad Hoc members to the Executive Committee Place #3, Place #4 and Place #5. One Willingness to Serve was received from DFW based Flight Attendant, Laura Hansen.
Additional Willingness to Serve Notifications may be returned to APFA Secretary, Jeff Pharr, anytime prior to the Annual Convention scheduled to commence on March 3, 2013.
If you are retiring and starting your pension at the same time that you are taking the VEOP, remember it is a three step process.
1. Verify that your Early-Out (EO) date in your HI10 matches the date listed in the VEOP chart in the bid sheet cover pages. If not, contact the Flight Attendant Service Center (800-VIP-Crew #,6).
2. Tell HR you want to retire (800-443-2000) and that you are taking the VEOP at the same time. If you miss this step, you will only have VEOP passes, not retiree travel.
3. Start your pension. Log onto the Benefits Service Center > My Pension > Request Your Pension. Do this no sooner than 90 days and no later than 45 days before you want to start your pension.
Keep some cash available for the first few months. Remember, you will not be able to access your 401(k) for 60 days after you leave AA. Pension checks are processed after you officially retire. It is now taking up to 12 weeks before they send your first check. You will get paid for the 12 weeks, just all at once at the end of the 12 weeks. After that, your pension checks will be direct-deposited on the first of the month. The good news is that your final paycheck with your vacation pay should arrive between the 12th and the 15th day after you retire. If you took the VEOP, your $40,000 minus tax withholding should arrive between the 15th and 25th of the month.
Pass Travel Immediately Following Retirement
It takes a few days for your status as a retiree to be loaded into Jetnet and the Non-Rev-Travel-Planner (NRTP). This update is done by HR when they enter a Payroll Transaction Record (PTR). BTW: They only enter a PTR for you if you call and tell them that you also want to retire.) It is currently taking HR 7-10 days to load the retirement PTR’s. Because the VEOP PTR’s were already loaded, you may see in NRTP that you do not have D3/D1 travel. This will get updated when your PTR is entered, but if you need D3/D1/A9 travel before that happens, contact your former Flight Service Manager and ask them to build a PNR for your travel.
Review the updated APFA VEOP handout, January 2013 update, on www.www.apfa.org.
DFW Day In Operations
Please join DFW Base Chair Chris O’Kelley and DFW Vice Chair Margaret Barnes in Terminal C operations on Thursday February 14th. They will be available to answer questions and concerns from 1100-1500.
AmericanAirlines + US Airways
“Our Future Depends On It”
APFA National Communications Coordinator